Fourth of July parade shooting leaves 6 dead and 30 injured; detained man


A sniper fired during an Independence Day parade from a rooftop in suburban Chicago, showering the crowd with gunfire initially mistaken for fireworks before hundreds of panicked revelers of all ages flee in terror. At least six people were killed and at least 30 injured.

An hour-long manhunt in which residents hunkered down in businesses or had police escorts to their homes ended in a traffic stop and a brief chase on Monday night, when authorities arrested a man they described as a person of interest. They identified no motive for the attack in Highland Park, an affluent community of about 30,000 on Chicago’s North Shore.

The July 4 shooting was just the latest to shatter the rituals of American life. Schools, churches, grocery stores and now community parades have all become killing grounds 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 hold it together.

“It certainly hits a lot harder when it’s not just your hometown, but it’s right in front of you,” resident Ron Tuazon said as he and a friend returned to the parade route Monday night to recuperate. chairs, blankets and a child’s bicycle that he and his family abandoned when the shooting began.

“It’s commonplace now,” Tuazon said. “We won’t blink anymore. Until the laws change, it won’t be the same.”

The shooting occurred at a spot on the parade route where many residents had staked out vantage points early in the day for the annual celebration.

Among them was the family of Nicolas Toledo, who was over 70 and had come from Mexico when he was shot. He died at the scene, his granddaughter, Xochil Toledo, told the Chicago Sun-Times. Jacki Sundheim, a longtime devotee and “beloved” staff member of North Shore Congregation Israel, who announced her death on her website, was also killed.

Dozens of bullets fired sent hundreds of parade spectators – some visibly bloodied – fleeing. They left a trail of abandoned objects that showed daily life suddenly, violently disrupted: a box of chocolate cookies spilled on the grass; a child’s Chicago Cubs cap; strollers, some emblazoned with American flags, and children’s bicycles.

“There is no safe place,” said 73-year-old Highland Park resident Barbara Harte, who had stayed away from the parade for fear of a mass shooting, but then walked away. ventured out of her home.

Highland Park Police Chief Lou Jogmen said an officer arrested Robert E. Crimo III about 5 miles north of the scene of the shooting, several hours after police released the photo of the man and an image of his silver Honda Fit, and warned the public that he was likely armed and dangerous. Authorities initially said he was 22, but an FBI bulletin and Crimo social media said he was 21.

Police declined to immediately identify Crimo as a suspect, but said identifying him as a person of interest, publicly sharing his name and other information was a serious step.

Lake County Major Crimes Task Force spokesman Christopher Covelli told a news conference that “several of the deceased victims” died at the scene and one was taken to the scene. hospital and died there.

Police did not release details of the victims, but Toledo’s granddaughter told the Sun-Times that Toledo spent most of her life in Morelos, Mexico. Xochil Toledo said she remembered watching her grandfather as a band passed by them playing music.

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

Xochil Toledo said his father tried to protect his grandfather and was shot in the arm; her boyfriend was also shot in the back and was taken by someone to the nearby hospital because they weren’t sure there would be enough ambulances for all the victims.

Roberto Velasco, Mexico’s director of North American affairs, said on Twitter that two Mexicans were also injured.

Sundheim had spent decades on the staff of North Shore Congregation Israel, teaching early in the congregation’s kindergarten and later as coordinator of events and B’nei Mitzvahs, “all with tireless dedication “, said the congregation in its statement announcing his death. .

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

Lake County Coroner Jennifer Banek said all five people killed in the parade were adults, but had no information on the sixth victim.

NorthShore University Health Center received 26 patients after the attack. All but one had gunshot wounds, said Dr Brigham Temple, medical director of emergency preparedness. Their ages ranged from 8 to 85, and Temple estimated that four or five were children.

“It is devastating that a celebration of America has been torn apart by our uniquely American plague,” Illinois Governor JB Pritzker said at a press conference.

“While we only celebrate the 4th of July once a year, mass shootings have become a weekly American tradition – yes, weekly.”

Since January, there have been 15 shootings where four or more people were killed, including the Highland Park shooting, according to The Associated Press/USA TODAY/Northeastern University Massacre Database.

The gunman opened fire around 10:15 a.m., when the parade was about three quarters full, authorities said.

Highland Park Police Commander Chris O’Neill, the incident commander at the scene, said the shooter apparently used a ‘high powered rifle’ to fire from a location on top of a building commercial where he was “very hard to see”. He said the rifle was recovered from the scene. Police also found a ladder attached to the building.

President Joe Biden said Monday that he and First Lady Jill Biden were “shocked by the senseless gun violence that has once again caused heartbreak in an American community on this Independence Day.”

In recent days, Biden signed the most sweeping gun violence bill passed by Congress in decades, a compromise that showed both progress on a long unresolved issue and the deep partisan divide that remains.

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

In an animated video since removed by YouTube, Crimo raps about armies “marching in darkness” as a drawing appears of a man pointing a gun, a body on the ground, and another figure with hands raised in the distance.

In another video, Crimo appears in a classroom wearing a black bicycle helmet. He said, “It’s all led up to this. Nothing can stop me, even myself.”

Crimo’s father, Bob, a longtime deli owner, ran unsuccessfully for mayor of Highland Park in 2019, calling himself a “nobody for the people”.

Highland Park is a close-knit community on the shores of Lake Michigan, with mansions and sprawling lakeside estates that have long attracted the rich and sometimes famous, including NBA legend Michael Jordan, who lived in the city ​​for years when he played for the Chicago Bulls. John Hughes filmed parts of several films in the city, including “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”, “Sixteen Candles”, and “Weird Science”.

Gina Troiani and her son were lined up with her daycare class ready to march down the parade route when she heard a loud noise she thought was fireworks – until she heard people screaming about a shooter.

“We just start running in the opposite direction,” she told The Associated Press.

Troiani said she pushed her 5-year-old son’s bike, crossing the neighborhood to get back to her car.

“It was just kind of a chaos,” she said. “There were people who were separated from their families, looking for them. Others just dropped their carts, grabbed their children and started running.”


Foody contributed from Chicago. Associated Press writers Mike Balsamo in New York, David Koenig in Dallas, Jeff Martin in Woodstock, Georgia, Fabiola Sanchez in Monterrey, Mexico, Jim Mustian in New Orleans, Bernard Condon in New York, and Martha Irvine and Mike Householder at Highland Park contributed reports.