Independence day is meant to be a day of celebration, but a gunman decided to spoil the fun when they climbed to a rooftop and opened fire on a parade in suburban Chicago on Monday.
In the aftermath, at least six people were reported dead, with 30 wounded.
After an hour-long manhunt, a 22-year-old man was taken into police custody as a person of interest in the shooting.
“It is devastating that a celebration of America was ripped apart by our uniquely American plague,” said Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker. “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.”
The shooting happened at an area in the parade route where residents had settled in for viewing points early in the day. Bullets sent hundreds running and leaving a trail of abandoned items.
Highland Park Police Chief Lou Jogemen said a police officer caught 22-year-old Robert E. Crimp III five miles north of the shooting scene hours after police released his photo along with his silver Honda Fit. Police were warned that he might be armed and dangerous.
Police did not identify Crimo as a suspect, but identifying him as a person of interest and sharing several pieces of information with the public was a serious step.
In a news conference, Lake County Major Crime Task Force spokesman Christopher Covelli revealed several victims died at the scene, and one died after being taken to the hospital.
NorthShore University Health Center took in 26 patients from the attack, all with gunshot wounds except one. The victims’ age ranged from 8 to 85, with four or five of the patients being children.
Dr. Brigham Temple said 19 were treated and discharged while others were transferred to other hospitals. Two patients were in stable condition and remained at the Highland Park hospital.
The shooting occurred at 10:15 a.m., and the gunner is reported to have used a “high-powered rifle” from atop a commercial building, making it hard for people to see him. However, police recovered the rifle and found a ladder attached to the building.
Police believe there was one shooter but warn he could still be armed and dangerous.
With a shooter still at large, nearby cities canceled events. For example, the Chicago White Sox announced they canceled a post-game fireworks show due to the shooting.
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