With parades happening all over the country, celebrating Independence Day, the day turned tragic as a gunman opened fire on a 4th of July celebration in suburban Chicago, killing 6 people and wounding over 20 more. Having taken a vantage point on top of a building, the shooter unloaded a high-powered assault rifle on the crowd below. While citizens scattered, leaving blankets, chairs, and strollers behind, the gunman was able to get away with relative ease. But it was only a matter of time before law enforcement caught up to the suspect, identifying him as Robert E. Crimo III.
While the city has a long recovery ahead, Governor JB Pritzker, released a statement about the violence inflicted on individuals doing nothing more than celebrating America. “There are no words for the kind of monster who lies in wait and fires into a crowd of families with children celebrating a holiday with their community. There are no words for the kind of evil that robs our neighbors of their hopes, their dreams, their futures.”
Given that both the suspect and weapon are now in police custody, CNN reported, “Firearm evidence was found on the rooftop of a nearby business, police commander Chris O’Neill said. The shooter used a ladder attached to the building on a wall in an alley to access the roof, said Christopher Covelli, spokesperson for the Lake County Major Crime Task Force.”
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Online, numerous videos of the shooting started to circulate as the news broke. Like many parades, the crowd was full of families having a good time and enjoying the company of each other. But sadly, the event turned deadly as the first rounds were heard. Taking mere seconds to understand what was taking place, citizens scrambled to get to safety, again, leaving everything behind. There are even reports that one person hid in a dumpster.
Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering commented, saying she didn’t believe that the weapon used was legally obtained. She added that many of Crimo’s social media posts “reflected a plan and a desire to commit carnage for a long time in advance. And it’s one of those things where you step back and you say, ‘What happened? How did somebody become this angry, this hateful?’ To then take it out on innocent people who literally were just having a family day out.”