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Police find man suspected in shooting at Chicago-area parade

Suspected shooter arrested

UPDATE 5:20 p.m.

A 22-year-old man identified as a person of interest in a shooting during an Independence Day parade in suburban Chicago that killed at least six people, wounded at least 30 and sent hundreds of people fleeing was taken into custody Monday evening following an hourslong manhunt, police said.

Highland Park Police Chief Lou Jogmen said Monday evening that a police officer briefly chased Robert E. Crimo III as he drove about five miles north of where the shooting occurred before the man pulled over and was taken into custody.

Police declined to immediately identify Crimo as a suspect but said identifying him as a person of interest, sharing his name and other information publicly was a serious step.

The July 4 shooting was just the latest to shatter the rituals of American life. Schools, churches, grocery stores and now community parades have all become killing grounds in recent months. This time, the bloodshed came as the nation tried to find cause to celebrate its founding and the bonds that still hold it together.

"It is devastating that a celebration of America was ripped apart by our uniquely American plague,” Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker said at a news conference.

“I’m furious because it does not have to be this way... while we celebrate the Fourth of July just once a year, mass shootings have become a weekly — yes, weekly — American tradition."


UPDATE 3:30 p.m.

A gunman on a rooftop opened fire on an Independence Day parade in suburban Chicago on Monday, killing at least six people, wounding at least 30 and sending hundreds of marchers, parents with strollers and children on bicycles fleeing in terror, police said. The suspect remained on the loose hours later as authorities scoured the area.

Highland Park Police Chief Lou Jogmen said Monday afternoon that police have identified 22-year-old Robert E. Crimo III as a person of interest and cautioned he should be considered armed and dangerous. Police declined to answer questions about how they identified Crimo. Authorities described his car as a silver Honda Fit with an Illinois license plate DM 80653.

The July 4 shooting was just the latest to shatter the rituals of American life. Schools, churches, grocery stores and now community parades have all become killing grounds in recent months. This time, the bloodshed came as the nation tried to find cause to celebrate its founding and the bonds that still hold it together.

Mayor Nancy Rotering said the violence “has shaken us to our core,” adding, "On a day that we came together to celebrate community and freedom, we are instead mourning the tragic loss of life and struggling with the terror that was brought upon us.”

The shooting occurred at a spot on the parade route where many residents had staked out prime viewing points early in the day for the annual celebration. Dozens of fired bullets sent hundreds of parade-goers — some visibly bloodied — fleeing. They left a trail of abandoned items that showed everyday life suddenly, violently disrupted: A half-eaten bag of potato chips; a box of chocolate cookies spilled onto the grass; a child’s Chicago Cubs cap.

“There’s no safe place,” said Highland Park resident Barbara Harte, 73, who had stayed away from the parade fearing a mass shooting, but later ventured from her home.

Lake County Major Crime Task Force spokesman Christopher Covelli said at a news conference “several of the deceased victims” died at the scene and one was taken to a hospital and died there. Police have not released details about the victims or wounded.

Lake County Coroner Jennifer Banek said the five people killed at the parade were adults and she doesn't have information on the sixth victim who was taken to a hospital and died there.

Roberto Velasco, Mexico’s director for North American affairs, said on Twitter Monday that one Mexican national was killed in Highland Park and added that two other Mexicans were wounded.

Dr. Brigham Temple, medical director of emergency preparedness for NorthShore University Health Center, said the Highland Park hospital received 26 patients after the attack and all but one had gunshot wounds. Their ages ranged from 8 to 85, and Temple estimated that four or five patients were children.

He said 19 of them were treated and discharged. Others were transferred to other hospitals, while two patients, in stable condition, remained at the Highland Park hospital.


UPDATE 11:21 a.m.

At least six people died and 24 were wounded in a shooting at a July Fourth parade in the Chicago suburb of Highland Park, and officers are searching for a suspect who likely fired on the festivities from a rooftop, police said Monday.

Highland Park Police Commander Chris O’Neill, the incident commander on scene, urged people to shelter in place as authorities search for the suspect, described as a white male wearing a white or blue T-shirt.

Lake County Major Crime Task Force spokesman Christopher Covelli said at a news conference that the gunman apparently opened fire on parade-goers from a rooftop using a rifle that was recovered at the scene. He didn’t know which building.

Covelli said police believe there was only one shooter and warned that he should still be considered armed and dangerous.

Police have not released any details about the victims or wounded.

The parade began around 10 a.m. but it was suddenly halted about 10 minutes later after shots were fired. Hundreds of parade-goers — some visibly bloodied — fled the parade route, leaving behind chairs, baby strollers, plush toys, bicycles and blankets.

Police told people: “Everybody disperse, please. It is not safe to be here.”

Highland Park Police said in a statement early Monday afternoon that five people had been killed and 19 people were taken to hospitals. but those numbers were revised soon after at the news conference.


UPDATE 11:05 a.m.

At least five people are dead and 19 were taken to hospitals after a shooting at a July Fourth parade in a Chicago suburb, and officers are searching for a suspect, police said Monday.

The Chicago Sun-Times reported that the parade began around 10 a.m. but it was suddenly halted 10 minutes later after shots were fired. A Sun-Times reporter saw blankets placed over three bloodied bodies. Several witnesses told the newspaper that they heard gunfire.

Hundreds of parade-goers — some visibly bloodied — fled the parade route, leaving behind chairs, baby strollers and blankets.

Police told people: “Everybody disperse, please. It is not safe to be here.”

Highland Park Police said in a statement early Monday afternoon that five people had been killed and 19 people were taken to hospitals. It was unclear if the five dead were among the 19 hospitalized.

The police said authorities are still searching for the suspect.

Video shot by a Sun-Times journalist after the gunfire rang out shows a band on a float continuing to play as people run past, screaming. A photo posted to social media appeared to show pools of blood near upturned chairs in downtown Highland Park.

Gina Troiani and her son were lined up with his daycare class ready to walk onto the parade route when she heard a loud sound that she believed was fireworks — until she heard people yell about a shooter.

“We just start running in the opposite direction,” she told The Associated Press.

Her 5-year-old son was riding his bike decorated with red and blue curled ribbons. He and other children in the group held small American flags. The city said on it’s website that the festivities were to include a children’s bike and pet parade.

Troiani said she pushed her son’s bike, running through the neighborhood to get back to their car.

In a video that Troiani shot on her phone, some of the kids are visibly startled at the loud noise and they scramble to the side of the road as a siren wails nearby.

It was just sort of chaos,” she said. “There were people that got separated from their families, looking for them. Others just dropped their wagons, grabbed their kids and started running.”

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker said in a tweet that he is “closely monitoring the situation in Highland Park” and that Illinois State Police are assisting. The ISP said in an email that it was assisting in the response to an active shooter reported around 10:24 a.m.

The Lake County Sheriff’s Office said on Twitter that it is assisting Highland Park Police “with a shooting in the area of the Independence Day parade route.” The sheriff’s office directed an AP reporter to contact Highland Park Police. The Police Department said no one was immediately available to comment.

Debbie Glickman, a Highland Park resident, said she was on a parade float with coworkers and the group was preparing to turn onto the main route when she saw people running from the area.

“People started saying: ‘There’s a shooter, there’s a shooter, there's a shooter,’” Glickman told the Associated Press. “So we just ran. We just ran. It’s like mass chaos down there.”

She didn’t hear any noises or see anyone who appeared to be injured.

“I’m so freaked out,” she said. “It’s just so sad.”


ORIGINAL 9:40 a.m.

Police are responding to a shooting at a July Fourth parade in a Chicago suburb, authorities said Monday.

Authorities have not officially reported any casualties, but witnesses described seeing bloodied bodies apparently covered with blankets.

The Chicago Sun-Times reported that the parade began around 10 a.m. but was suddenly halted 10 minutes later after shots were fired. Several witnesses told the newspaper that they heard gunfire.

Hundreds of parade-goers — some visibly bloodied — fled the parade route, leaving behind chairs, baby strollers and blankets.

A Sun-Times reporter saw blankets placed over three bloodied bodies.

Police told people: “Everybody disburse, please. It is not safe to be here.”

Debbie Glickman, a Highland Park resident, said she was on a parade float with coworkers and the group was prepared to turn onto the main route when she saw people running away from the area.

“People started saying ‘There’s a shooter, there’s a shooter, there a shooter,’” Glickman told the Associated Press. “So we just ran. We just ran. It’s like mass chaos down there.”

She didn’t hear any noises or see anyone who appeared to be injured.

“I’m so freaked out,” she said. “It’s just so sad.”

The Lake County Sheriff’s Office said on Twitter that it is assisting Highland Park Police “with a shooting in the area of the Independence Day parade route.”

The sheriff’s office directed an AP reporter to contact Highland Park Police. The Police Department said no one was immediately available to discuss the incident.

City leaders said on Twitter that “Police are responding to an incident in downtown Highland Park. Fourth Fest has been canceled. Please avoid downtown Highland Park. More information will be shared as it becomes available.”

The city said on it's website that the parade would feature floats, marching bands, novelty groups, community entries and other special entertainment. A children’s bike and pet parade also was scheduled to start 30 minutes before the main parade.



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