The gunman fired more than 70 rounds at the parade

HIGHLAND PARK, Ill. (AP)-The gunman who attacked the Independence Day parade in suburban Chicago fired more than 70 rounds with an AR-15-style gun that killed at least six people, then escaped initial arrest by dressing woman and who mixed with the fleeing crowd, police said Tuesday.

Lake County Major Crime Task Force spokesman Christopher Covelli told a news conference that the suspected shooter, who was arrested late Monday, used a high-powered rifle “like an AR-15” to spray bullets from the top of a commercial building into a crowd. gathered for the parade in Highland Park, a close -knit lake community on Lake Michigan that has long attracted the wealthy and sometimes famous.

More than 30 people were also injured.

Investigators questioning the suspect and reviewing his social media posts did not determine the motive for the attack or find any indication that the shooter was targeting anyone through race, religion or other protected circumstances. , according to Covelli.

Authorities have not filed criminal charges.

Earlier, FBI agents looked in trash cans and under picnic blankets as they searched for more evidence of the area where the killer fired. The shots were initially mistaken for fireworks before hundreds of panicked cheers fled in panic.

A day later, baby strollers, lawn chairs and other items left by bewildered parade goers remained within the wide police perimeter. Outside the police tape, several residents were driving to collect blankets and chairs they had left behind.

David Shapiro, 47, said the explosion of gunfire quickly caused the parade to “riot.”

“People don’t immediately know where the shot came from, whether the gunman was in front or behind you chasing you,” he said Tuesday as he grabbed a stroller and chairs on the lawn.

The shooting was just the latest to destroy the rituals of American life. Schools, churches, grocery stores and now community parades have become places of killing in recent months. This time, the bloodshed came as the country struggled to find a reason to celebrate its founding and the bonds that still hold it.

“It’s definitely worse if it’s not only in your hometown but it’s also in front of you,” said resident Ron Tuazon as he and a friend returned to the parade route Monday night to pick up chairs, blankets and bicycle of a child whose family had been abandoned when the shooting began.

“It’s common now,” Tuazon said. “We don’t flinch anymore. Until the laws change, it will be more the same. ”

A police officer pulled Robert E. Crimo III north of the shooting scene hours after police released his photo and warned he was likely armed and in danger, Highland Park Police Chief Lou Jogmen said.

Authorities initially said Crimo, whose father previously ran for mayor of Highland Park, was 22, but an FBI bulletin and Crimo’s social media said he was 21.

President Joe Biden on Tuesday ordered American flags to be hoisted by the middle staff through Saturday as a “mark of respect for the victims of the senseless acts of gun violence committed on our Independence Day.”

The shooting took place in an area of ​​the parade route where several residents set up main viewing points early in the day.

Among them was Nicolas Toledo, who visited his family in Illinois from Mexico. He was shot and killed at the scene, his granddaughter, Xochil Toledo, told the Chicago Sun-Times. Jacki Sundheim, a lifelong congregant and “beloved” staff member at nearby North Shore Congregation Israel, was also killed, announcing her death on its website.

Police have not released details about the victims, but Toledo’s grandson told the Sun-Times that Toledo spent most of his life in Morelos, Mexico. Xochil Toledo said he remembers watching his grandfather, who was 70, when a band passed them.

“She was very happy,” he said. “Happy to be living in the present.”

Xochil Toledo said his father tried to protect his grandfather and was shot in the arm. Her boyfriend was also shot in the back and taken to hospital.

Sundheim spent decades with North Shore Congregation Israel staff, teaching the congregation’s preschool and later coordinating events, “all of this with tireless dedication,” the congregation said in its statement announcing his death.

“Jacki’s work, kindness and warmth touched us all,” the statement said.

NorthShore University Health Center received 26 patients after the attack. All but one had gunshot wounds, Drs. Brigham Temple, medical director of emergency preparedness. Their ages ranged from 8 to 85, and the Temple estimated four or five children.

Since the beginning of the year, the U.S. has seen 15 shootings in which four or more people have died, including one in Highland Park, according to The Associated Press/USA TODAY/Northeastern University mass killing database.

Highland Park Police Commander Chris O’Neill said the gunman apparently fired from a rooftop where he was “very hard to see.” He said the rifle was recovered at the scene. Police also found a staircase attached to the building.

Covelli said Crimo legally bought the gun in Illinois for the past year.

In 2013, Highland Park officials approved a ban on assault weapons and ammunition magazines for more than 10 rounds. A local doctor and the Illinois State Rifle Association were quick to challenge the liberal suburb’s stance. The legal fight ended at the door of the U.S. Supreme Court in 2015 when magistrates refused to hear the case and allowed suburb bans to remain in place.

Crimo, nicknamed Bobby, an aspiring rapper with the stage name Awake the Rapper, posted on social media many videos and songs, some bad and violent.

In an animated video since being taken on YouTube, Crimo raps about troops “walking in the dark” while a drawing shows a man pointing a rifle, a body on the ground and a man raising hands in the distance.

Crimo’s father, Bob, a longtime deli owner, sought mayor’s office in 2019, calling himself “a man for the people.”

The community of about 30,000 on Chicago’s affluent North Shore has mansions and sprawling lakeside estates and was formerly home to NBA legend Michael Jordan.

Shapiro, the Highland Park resident who fled the parade with his family, said his 2-year-old son woke up screaming that night.

“She was too young to understand what was happening. But he knew something bad had happened, ”Shapiro said. “That’s cool.”

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