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Police detain person of interest after mass shooting at July 4 parade in Chicago suburb

HIGHLAND PARK, IL – JULY 04: First responders work the scene of a shooting at a Fourth of July parade on July 4, 2022 in Highland Park, Illinois.
Jim Vondruska | Getty Images News | Getty Images

At least six people were killed and dozens were wounded when a gunman opened fire from a rooftop on a Fourth of July parade in the upscale Chicago suburb of Highland Park Monday morning, police said. The gunfire sent hundreds of people scrambling for cover.

Police named Robert “Bobby” E. Crimo III, 22 years old, as a person of interest, just before 6 p.m. ET Monday. Crimo remains at large and is believed to be driving a 2010 silver Honda Fit with the Illinois license plate DM80653, said Lou Jogmen, chief of the Highland Park Police Department, at a press conference.

Lake County Major Crime Task Force spokesman Chris Covelli said the suspect is considered armed and dangerous and that people should not approach him. He noted that police will release photos of Crimo, who goes by “Bobby” and is from the area.

Earlier in the day, local police described the suspect as a white male with a small build and “longer,” black hair.

In the wake of the shooting, five adults were dead on the scene and sixth person died after being taken to the hospital, officials said. The age of the sixth victim remains unclear. Some two dozen injured were taken to hospitals, and others walked in for treatment. Dr. Brigham Temple, an emergency medicine doctor at NorthShore University Health System, said those wounded ranged from age 8 to 85.

Police were going door-to-door to help search for the suspect, Covelli said, urging anyone with video of the parade to share it with law enforcement.

Covelli said officials recovered a “high-powered rifle” from the Highland Park scene and noted that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is investigating the weapon. Police urged people in the area to stay indoors while law enforcement searched for the gunman.

President Joe Biden said he spoke with Illinois Gov. J.B Pritzker and Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering and offered federal support.

“Jill and I are shocked by the senseless gun violence that has yet again brought grief to an American community on this Independence Day,” Biden said in a written statement.

The shooting comes just days after Congress passed the most significant gun control reform bill in decades. After so recently signing that bill into law and now reflecting on the Highland Park shooting, Biden said, “But there is much more work to do, and I’m not going to give up fighting the epidemic of gun violence.”

The Highland Park shooting occurred less than two months after a lone gunman fatally shot 10 Black shoppers at a Buffalo, New York, grocery store on May 14. Another gunman killed 19 children and two teachers at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, just 10 days later.

Portable chairs are left behind on Central Avenue after a mass shooting at a Fourth of July parade route in the wealthy Chicago suburb of Highland Park, Illinois, on July 4, 2022.
Max Herman | Reuters

Larry Bloom, who was in the area when shots began, told NBC Chicago that at first spectators thought the “popping” sound was part of the parade.

“You heard like a ‘pop, pop, pop,’ and I think everybody kinda thought maybe it was a display on one of the floats, and then it just opened up,” Bloom said.

The shooting occurred on the Independence Day parade route. The Lake County Sheriff’s office urged people to stay out of the area to “allow law-enforcement and first responders to do their work.”

“This morning at 10:14, our community was terrorized by an act of violence that has shaken us to our core,” said Highland Park Mayor Rotering, at a news conference. “On a day that we came together to celebrate community and freedom, we’re instead mourning … the tragic loss of life and struggling with the terror that was brought upon us.”

Fourth of July events in other Chicago suburbs — Evanston, Deerfield and Skokie — were called off in the wake of the Highland Park shooting, NBC News reported.

HIGHLAND PARK, IL: First responders work the scene of a shooting at a Fourth of July parade on July 4, 2022 in Highland Park, Illinois.
Jim Vondruska | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Reuters contributed to this report.

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