Jul 5, 2022 - News

Highland Park shooting sends shockwaves

Wagon with flags in street
A wagon and flags remain at St. Johns Avenue, near the scene of the shooting in Highland Park yesterday. Photo: Antonio Perez/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Just minutes after the Highland Park Fourth of July parade started yesterday, an assailant shot into the crowd from a nearby rooftop, killing six people and seriously injuring 31.

  • Hours later, person of interest Robert "Bobby" Eugene Crimo III was spotted driving on Route 41 in North Chicago. After a brief chase, Crimo was taken into custody near Lake Forest.
  • Officials said they recovered a "high-powered rifle" at the parade but did not disclose more details.

What they're saying: "Our community was terrorized by an act of violence that has shaken us to our core," Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering said in a press conference. "On a day when we came together to celebrate community and freedom, we are instead mourning the tragic loss of life."

  • State Sen. Julie Morrison attended the parade with her children and grandchildren. She said they ran for safety after hearing gunshots.
  • "I'll never do a parade again," Morrison told WGN-TV. "I will never ask my family and friends to put themselves in what is obviously harm's way."
  • U.S. Rep. Brad Schneider, who had just arrived at the parade when the shootings happened, told the station: "Evil visited our town and destroyed many lives today."

As of this morning, five of the shooting's six fatalities occurred at the scene.

  • Among the victims was a grandfather visiting family in Highland Park and a teacher at North Shore Congregation Israel.
  • Twenty-six victims, ages 8 to 85, were taken to Highland Park Hospital.
  • "Four or five were kids," according to hospital officials.
  • Additional patients were brought to other nearby facilities.

Between the lines: The shooting sent shockwaves through Highland Park, a suburb with one of the lowest crime rates in America for its size.

  • "For perspective: We just locked our doors during the daytime for the first time since we have been living in Highland Park," longtime resident and Tribune writer Kevin Williams tweeted yesterday.

What's more: The shock and terror reverberated into several nearby suburbs that immediately canceled their own parades and evening fireworks shows.

  • Evanston closed its beaches and Wilmette evacuated its aquatic center.

Context: Highland Park banned assault weapons in 2013. The Supreme Court ultimately didn't hear a case challenging the ban in 2015.

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