Seventh victim dies after July 4 shooting in which suspect hid identity: Mayor


The mayor of a Chicago suburb says a seventh victim has died after gunshots rang out Monday during a Fourth of July parade, also wounding more than 30 people.

Nancy Rotering told CNN the death toll rose in the attack in Highland Park, Illinois, the latest community to be marked by a mass shooting in the United States.

Police earlier said at a news conference that the suspect planned the attack for several weeks and was wearing women’s clothing to hide his identity.

Deputy Chief Christopher Covelli of the Lake County Sheriff’s Office said Robert E. Crimo III wore the clothing to hide his facial tattoos and blend in with the crowd as he fled the scene.

Covelli said Crimo brought a legally purchased high-powered rifle to the parade, accessed the roof of a business via a fire escape and fired more than 70 rounds at people gathered at the Independence Day celebration.

After the attack, police said he dropped his rifle and ran away, blending into the crowd as if he were an “innocent bystander” and walking to his mother’s house, where he borrowed her car.

Police issued an alert with information about Crimo and the vehicle, and a member of the public who saw the vehicle called 911 and officers were able to take the vehicle into custody.

Covelli said a second rifle, also purchased by Crimo, was located in the vehicle and the suspect remains in custody. An update on charges is expected later today.

The deputy chief added that there is no indication that anyone else was involved in the attack and that a motive has not been determined. Police have no information that it was religiously or racially motivated, Covelli said, adding that it appears to be “completely random.”

Covelli added that Crimo is actually 21 years old, not 22 as previously reported, and is a resident of Highwood, Illinois.

Rotering said at the news conference that Tuesday is a day of mourning together, to pause and remember those who have died, as well as honor those who have been injured.

She also told CNN that she was once the leader of the alleged gunman’s Cub Scout pack.

“Many years ago, he was just a little boy, a quiet boy that I knew,” said Rotering. “He breaks my heart. He absolutely breaks my heart.”

Videos posted on social media showed the festivities collapsing in panic as revelers realized they were under fire and scrambled for cover.

The violence erupted just six weeks after a deadly attack at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, killed 19 children and two teachers.

The confluence of America’s birthday and the worsening gun violence epidemic is sure to evoke a familiar mix of pain, helplessness and outrage.

A statement from Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas described a “celebration of our tragedy-stricken nation” and praised the efforts of local law enforcement.

“The security of our homeland requires more; it requires all of us, together, to address the epidemic of targeted gun violence” with new community-based prevention and intervention strategies.

In a tweet Monday night, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau offered his condolences to the victims, their families and the Highland Park community.

They “wanted nothing more than to celebrate their country ΓǪ but instead their lives were forever changed,” Trudeau tweeted.

“To the injured and the loved ones of the victims: Canadians keep you in our thoughts.”

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on July 5, 2022.

— With archives from The Associated Press

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