The Chicago suburb of Highland Park was reeling Tuesday morning, the day after a gunman unleashed a hail of gunfire from a rooftop overlooking the Fourth of July parade, killing six people and wounding dozens more in the latest outbreak of mass gun violence in the United States.

Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering told NBC News of the “incredible sadness” and “incredible shock” the community of 30,000 people was experiencing.

“This tragedy should never have come to our doorsteps,” he said. “As a small town, everyone knows someone who was affected by this directly, and of course we’re all still reeling.”

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Arrest made in shooting that killed 6, wounded 30 at Chicago-area 4th of July parade

Just a day before, the streets were decked out in red, white and blue as families watched the annual parade. Children sat on sidewalks, wagons and strollers waving American flags while parents and grandparents relaxed in their folding chairs.

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As the parade began to wind through downtown, police said a gunman climbed onto the roof of a business using a ladder in an alley and then, without warning, opened fire with an assault rifle on the crowd below. .


Click to Play Video: 'Police Name Person of Interest in Illinois 4th of July Parade Shooting'







Police name person of interest in Illinois 4th of July parade shooting


Police name person of interest in Illinois 4th of July parade shooting

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 did not know what the motive for the shooting was.

A retired four-star general, who did not want to be identified, was in the crowd when the shooting began. He told Reuters he picked up one of his granddaughters and ran through security to the Sunset Foods grocery store across the street when the shooting started.

“They were scared to death, they didn’t know what was happening,” he said as he burst into tears. “I had her against my chest and she told my daughter later, ‘Grandpa’s heart was pounding.'”

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The 72-year-old said he was with his family, including his twin grandsons, at the parade.

“Listen, I’ve been in the military for 30 years and this has made me look like shit,” as her eyes filled with tears. “I thought I was done with this nonsense.”

The injured ranged in age from 8 to 85, including four or five children, police said.

Gun violence is fresh on the minds of many Americans, 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 and killed a 10 people in a grocery store in Buffalo. , New York.


Click to Play Video: 'Police Confirm 6 Dead, 24 Injured in 'Random' Shooting at Illinois 4th of July Parade'







Police Confirm 6 Dead, 24 Injured in ‘Random’ Shooting at Illinois 4th of July Parade


Police Confirm 6 Dead, 24 Injured in ‘Random’ Shooting at Illinois 4th of July Parade

22 year old suspect

Rotering said she knew the suspect when he was a little boy and a Cub Scout, when she was a Cub Scout leader.

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“What happened? How did someone get so angry, so hateful?” she said.

Social media and other online posts written by accounts that appeared to be associated with Crimo or his rapper alias, Awake The Rapper, often featured violent images or messages.

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A music video posted on YouTube under Awake The Rapper, for example, featured drawings of a stick figure holding a rifle facing another figure lying on the ground.

Rotering said Tuesday that he did not know where the gun the gunman used came from, but added that it was obtained legally.

“Our nation needs to have a conversation about these weekly events involving the murder of dozens of people with legally obtained weapons,” he said.

Police conduct a search after a mass shooting at the Highland Park 4th of July parade in downtown Highland Park, Ill., a suburb of Chicago, Monday, July 4, 2022.

AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh

The attack is likely to reignite debate over gun control and whether tougher measures can prevent the mass shootings that occur so often in the United States.

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In response to the shootings in New York and Uvalde, Congress last month passed its first major federal gun reform in three decades, providing federal funds to states that administer “red flag” laws aimed at taking guns away from people. considered dangerous.

The law does not prohibit the sale of assault rifles or high-capacity magazines, but it does take some steps in background checks by allowing access to information on significant crimes committed by minors. read full story

(Additional reporting by Brendan O’Brien in Chicago Editing by Alistair Bell)


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