Everyone was expecting Independence Day to be a day of celebration, but a gunman decided otherwise when they climbed onto a rooftop and opened fire on a parade in suburban Chicago on Monday.
At least six people were reportedly killed, and 30 were left injured.
An hour-long manhunt ensued, and a 22-year-old man was arrested for being a person of interest in the shooting.
“It is devastating that a celebration of America was ripped apart by our uniquely American plague,” said Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker. “I’m furious because it does not have to be this way. While we celebrate the Fourth of July just once a year, mass shootings have become a weekly – yes, weekly – American tradition.”
The shooting occurred in an area along the parade route where residents had lined up and set up lookouts earlier in the day. The bullets sent hundreds of people running, leaving a trail of abandoned objects.
Highland Park Police Chief Lou Jogemen said an officer apprehended 22-year-old Robert E. Crimo III five miles north of the shooting scene hours after police released photos of him and his silver Honda Fit. Police were warned earlier that he might be armed and dangerous.
Police have not confirmed Crimo as a suspect, but identifying him as a person of interest and sharing various information with the public was a serious decision that could nab the culprit.
At a news conference, Lake County Major Crimes Task Force spokesman Christopher Covelli said five victims died at the scene while another victim died after being transported to the hospital.
NorthShore University Health Center admitted 26 patients from the attack, sharing that all but one had gunshot wounds. The victims’ ages ranged from 8 to 85, and four or five of the patients were reported to be children.
Doctor Brigham Temple said 19 people had been treated and discharged, while others were transferred to other hospitals. Two patients were in stable condition and were kept at Highland Park Hospital.
The shooting happened at 10:15 a.m., and the shooter allegedly used a “power rifle” from a commercial building, a location that made it hard for onlookers to spot him. However, police recovered the weapon and found a ladder attached to the building.
Police suspect a shooter and warn he may be armed and dangerous. With one shooter still at large, nearby towns called off the events. For example, the Chicago White Sox announced that they had canceled a post-game fireworks display following the incident.