The Chicago suburb of Highland Park was in an uproar Tuesday morning, a day after a gunman rained down gunfire from a rooftop overlooking a July 4 parade, killing six people and wounding dozens more in a recent outbreak of mass gun violence in the United States United States came.
Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering told NBC News of the “incredible sadness” and “incredible shock” experienced by the community of 30,000.
“This tragedy should never have arrived on our doorstep,” she said. “As a small town, everyone knows someone who was directly affected by this, and of course we’re all still reeling.”
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Just a day earlier, the streets were decked out in red, white and blue as families watched the annual parade. Children sat on curbs, wagons and strollers, waving American flags while parents and grandparents relaxed in their folding chairs.
As the parade began rolling through downtown, police said a gunman used a ladder to climb onto the roof of a store in an alleyway and then, without warning, opened fire on the crowd below with an assault rifle.
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On Monday night, police announced they had a suspect, 22-year-old Robert E. Crimo III, in custody after he turned himself in to authorities. Police said they didn’t know what the motive for the shooting was.
A retired four-star general, who asked not to be named, was in the crowd when the shooting began. He told Reuters he picked up one of his granddaughters and sprinted to the Sunset Foods grocery store across the street for safety when the shooting began.
“They were scared to death, they didn’t know what was going on,” he said as he brought tears to his eyes. “I had her on my chest and she later said to my daughter, ‘Grandpa’s heart was pounding.'”
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The 72-year-old man said he was at the parade with his family, including his twin grandchildren.
“Listen, I’ve been in the military for 30 years and it has beaten me to death,” as his eyes filled with tears. “I thought I was done with this nonsense.”
The wounded ranged in age from 8 to 85, including four or five children, police said.
Gun violence has resurfaced in many Americans’ minds less than two months after a gunman killed 19 schoolchildren and two teachers at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, just 10 days after a man shot dead 10 people at a Buffalo grocery store , New York.
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22 year old suspect
Rotering said she knew the suspect when he was a young boy and a Cub Scout when she was a Cub Scout leader.
“What happened? How did someone get so angry, so hateful?” she said.
Social media and other online posts made by accounts apparently associated with either Crimo or his rapper alias Awake The Rapper often featured violent images or messages.
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For example, a music video posted to YouTube under Awake The Rapper featured drawings of a stick figure holding a gun in front of another figure spread out on the floor.
Rotering said Tuesday she did not know where the gun the shooter used came from, but added that it was obtained legally.
“Our nation needs to have a conversation about these weekly events where dozens of people are being murdered with legally obtained guns,” she said.
The attack is likely to reignite debate about gun control and whether stricter measures can prevent the mass shootings that are so common in the United States.
In response to the New York and Uvalde shootings, Congress last month passed its first major federal gun reform in three decades, allocating federal funding to states that pass “red flag” laws aimed at removing guns from people that are considered dangerous.
The law does not prohibit the sale of assault rifles or high-capacity magazines, but it does take some steps to background check by allowing access to information about serious crimes committed by juveniles. Read the full story
(Additional reporting by Brendan O’Brien in Chicago, edited by Alistair Bell)
https://globalnews.ca/news/8967621/highland-park-july-4-shooting-reaction/ Highland Park community in ‘incredible shock’ after fatal July 4 shooting – National