Highland Park shooting: Death toll rises to 7 as police continue investigation – National

The gunman who attacked an Independence Day parade in suburban Chicago fired more than 70 rounds with an AR-15-style gun that killed at least seven people, then evaded initial capture by disguising himself as a woman and mingled with the fleeing crowd, police said on Tuesday.

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

More than 30 people were injured in the attack, including one who died Tuesday, task force spokesman Christopher Covelli said.

Investigators who questioned the suspect and reviewed his social media posts have not determined a motive for the attack or found evidence that he attacked anyone because of their race, religion or other protected status, Covelli said.

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“No information” suggesting the July 4 shooting was motivated by race, religion and police

“No information” suggesting the July 4 shooting was motivated by race, religion and police

The shooter spent several weeks planning the attack, Covelli said.

The authorities have not filed a criminal complaint.

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Highland Park shooting: grandfather, ‘tireless’ synagogue teacher among victims

Earlier in the day, FBI agents peered inside trash cans and under picnic blankets as they searched for more evidence at the spot where the attacker opened fire. The shots were initially mistaken for fireworks before hundreds of revelers fled in horror.

A day later, strollers, lawn chairs and other items left by panicked parade-goers were left in a wide police perimeter. Outside the police tape, some residents pulled up to collect blankets and chairs that had been left behind.

David Shapiro, 47, said the spray of gunfire quickly turned the parade into “chaos”.

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“People didn’t immediately know where the shots were coming from, whether the shooter was in front of them or behind them and was chasing them,” he said Tuesday as he fetched a stroller and lawn chairs.

The shooting was only the latest to shake up the rituals of American life. Schools, churches, grocery stores and now community parades have become killing zones in recent months. This time, the bloodshed came as the nation tried to find a reason to celebrate its founding and the ties that still bind it together.

“It definitely hits a lot harder when it’s not only your hometown but also right in front of you,” resident Ron Tuazon said as he and a friend returned to the parade route Monday night to get chairs, blankets and a kid’s bike that left his family when filming began.

“It’s commonplace now,” Tuazon said. “We’re not blinking anymore. Until the laws change, it will be more of the same.”

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Crowds flee after gunfire rang out at Illinois Fourth of July parade

Crowds flee after gunfire rang out at Illinois Fourth of July parade

A police officer stopped Robert E. Crimo III north of the scene several hours after police released his photo and warned that he was likely armed and dangerous, Highland Park Police Chief Lou Jogmen said.

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

The shooting took place at a point on the parade route where many residents had staked out prime vantage points early in the day.

Among them was Nicolas Toledo, who was visiting his family in Illinois from Mexico. He was shot and died at the scene, his granddaughter Xochil Toledo told the Chicago Sun-Times. Also killed was Jacki Sundheim, a lifelong parishioner and “beloved” worker at nearby North Shore Congregation Israel, who announced her death on its website.

Police have not released details about the victims, but Toledo’s granddaughter told the Sun-Times that Toledo spent most of his life in Morelos, Mexico. Xochil Toledo said she remembered glancing over at her grandfather, who was in his late 70s, as a band walked past them.

“He was so happy,” she said. “Happy to live in the moment.”

Xochil Toledo said her father tried to shield her grandfather and was shot in the arm in the process. Her boyfriend was also shot in the back and taken to a hospital.

For decades, Sundheim was a staff member at North Shore Congregation Israel, teaching in the congregation’s preschool and later coordinating events, “all with an unwavering commitment,” the congregation said in its statement on her death.

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

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Highland Park shooting suspect: What we know about the man in custody

The NorthShore University Health System said it treated 39 people at four of its hospitals after the shooting. Nine people between the ages of 14 and 70 remain hospitalized on Tuesday. One patient, a 69-year-old man, was in critical condition due to a gunshot wound.

Since the beginning of the year, there have been 15 shootings in the United States that have killed four or more people, including those in Highland Park, according to The Associated Press/USA TODAY/Northeastern University mass murder database.

Highland Park Police Commander Chris O’Neill said the gunman appeared to have fired from a roof where he was “very difficult to see”. He said the gun was recovered from the scene. Police also found a ladder attached to the building.

Covelli said Crimo legally purchased the gun in Illinois last year.

In 2013, Highland Park officials approved a ban on assault weapons and ammunition magazines larger than 10 rounds. A local doctor and the Illinois State Rifle Association were quick to question the liberal suburb’s stance. The litigation ended on the doorstep of the US Supreme Court in 2015 when judges declined to hear the case, leaving the suburb’s restrictions in place.

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Crimo, who goes by the name Bobby, was an aspiring rapper with the stage name Awake the Rapper who posted dozens of videos and songs on social media, some of which were menacing and violent.

In an animated video that has since been removed from YouTube, Crimo raps about armies “walking in the dark” as a drawing of a man aiming a gun appears, a body on the ground and another figure with hands raised in the distance.

Click here to play the video:'It was just awful': 6 dead in mass shooting at July 4th parade near Chicago

‘It was just awful’: 6 dead in mass shooting at July 4th parade near Chicago

‘It was just awful’: 6 dead in mass shooting at July 4th parade near Chicago

Federal agents checked Crimo’s online profiles, and a preliminary investigation into his internet history revealed that he had researched mass killings and downloaded several photos depicting acts of violence, including a beheading, a police official said.

The official was unable to publicly discuss details of the investigation and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.

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

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The community of about 30,000 on Chicago’s affluent North Shore has mansions and sprawling lakefront estates and was once 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 later in the night.

“He’s too young to understand what happened. But he knows something bad happened,” Shapiro said. “That is shocking.”

© 2022 The Canadian Press

https://globalnews.ca/news/8968539/highland-park-shooting/ Highland Park shooting: Death toll rises to 7 as police continue investigation – National


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