At least seven people have been confirmed killed and over 30 others were injured after a gunman opened fire on the suburban Chicago area of Highland Park during their Independence Day parade on Monday morning.
“Oh my God!” New video of mass shooting at Highland Park, Illinois 4th of July Parade. You can clearly hear the rapid-fire of the gun. 6 now confirmed dead. pic.twitter.com/tzFJDmd1Sl
— Mike Sington (@MikeSington) July 4, 2022
The gunman, who was up on a rooftop, opened fire a few minutes after 10 a.m. releasing an reported 70 rounds into parade participants and spectators while the event was three quarters of the way finished.
A father who was attending the parade with his family told ABC 7 Chicago he put his son in a dumpster to protect him from the gunfire after the shooter kept popping off round after round.
Authorities said that the gunman used a legally purchased high-powered rifle which was recovered at the scene. His position on the rooftop made it difficult for law enforcement to locate where the gunshots where coming from–alluding that the shooter’s position was intentionally planned out.
Investigators also reported that shooter disguised himself as a woman in order to blend into the crowd in order to evade authorities.
The shooter was identified during a statement late Monday afternoon, authorities released the name Robert [Bobby] E. Crimo III, a 22-year-old white male as a person of interest they are seeking to apprehend. They believe Crimo is driving a 2010 Silver Honda Fit (Illinois license plate: DM80653) and warned that he should be considered armed and dangerous.
Shortly after making the announcement, law enforcement found Crimo driving on U.S. 41 and was placed into police custody without any incident after being peacefully pulled over following a short chase.
Five of the shooting deaths were confirmed to be adults; the sixth one is unknown because they were taken to the hospital and died there. The hospital where the gunshot victims were treated shared that the ages of those who had been treated for injuries ranged from 8-years to 85-years of age and that at least four of them had been children. One of the injured taken to the hospital died on Tuesday as a result of their injuries.
The aftermath of the parade route is littered with abandoned baby strollers, blankets, and chairs due to people running for cover after they heard the gunfire. One video shows the Maxwell Street Klexmer Band continuing to play atop a flatbed truck as parade attendees were frantically fleeing the scene, the band was unaware what was taking place.
“You have a tragic mass act of violence that was random here today at a community event where people were gathered to celebrate, and the offender has not been apprehended thus far,” Lake County Major Crime Task Force spokesman Christopher Covelli told reporters at a news conference. “So, could this happen again? We don’t know what his intentions are at this point, so certainly we’re not sure of that.”
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker said in a statement, “Today, I ask all Illinoisans to pray for the families who have been devastated by the evil unleashed this morning in Highland Park, for those who have lost loved ones and for those who have been injured. I also ask that we all pray for our first responders at all levels of government who are actively working to bring the suspect into custody, and whose bravery undoubtedly saved innocent lives on the scene.”