A shooter opened fire on an Independence Day parade in Highland Park, a suburb in North Chicago.
The gunman killed at least six innocent people, wounded at least 30, and sent hundreds of marchers, parents pushing strollers, and children on bikes fleeing in terror.
Over 100 law enforcement officers were called to the parade scene to find the suspected shooter.
The July 4th parade shooting was the latest to shatter the rituals of American life.
Schools, churches, grocery stores, and community parades have become killing grounds recently.
This loss of life this time came as our nation encouraged the celebration of its founding and reminders of the bonds that still hold it together.
Highland Park’s parade shooting ripped through the typically safe, friendly community.
NorthShore University Health Center received 26 patients after the attack.
All but one had gunshot wounds.
As of Tuesday, officials have identified six of the seven victims who died:
-Katherine Goldstein of Highland Park — age 64
-Irina McCarthy of Highland Park — age 35
-Stephen Straus of Highland Park — age 88
-Nicolas Toledo-Zaragoza of Morelos, Mexico — age 78
-Kevin McCarthy of Highland Park — age 37
-Jacquelyn Sundheim of Highland Park — age 63
A 7th victim died at a hospital located outside of Lake County.
More than three dozen others were injured in the attack.
Nicolas Toledo, a man in his 70s, was the first victim identified as of late Monday by his family.
Jacki Sundheim was a teacher at a synagogue in Highland Park.
The man charged with killing seven people legally bought the high-powered rifle used in the shooting and four other weapons, despite threatening violence, police said.
Robert E. Crimo III was charged with seven counts of murder Tuesday in the shooting.
His arrest came after he was spotted by a North Chicago police officer following a short chase.
Prosecutors will seek dozens more charges.
Crimo climbed to the roof of a business using a ladder in an alley.
He used a high-powered rifle similar to an AR-15 to spread more than 70 rounds from atop the building into the parade crowd.
The assault happened less than three years after a family member called police to his home becuase he was threatening “to kill everyone.”
The police confiscated 16 knives, a dagger, and a sword from the home at that time, but stated there was no sign he had any guns at the time.
That was in September of 2019.
Crimo was able to slip past the safeguards of an Illinois “red flag” law designed to prevent people deemed to have violent tendencies from getting guns.
This has raised questions about the adequacy of the state’s “red flag” laws, even as a prosecutor lauded the system as “strong” during a news conference.
Social media posts written by accounts that seemed to be associated with either Crimo or his rapper alias, Awake The Rapper, often portrayed violent images or messages.
A Streak Of Senseless Gun Violence
Gun violence spiked over the Fourth of July weekend.
There were shootings reported in nearly every U.S. state, killing a total of at least 220 people and wounding close to 570 others, according to the Gun Violence Archive.
At least 11 of the gun violence incidents over the holiday weekend were classified as mass shootings by the Gun Violence Archive.
A mass shooting is any situation where four or more people, excluding the shooter, are killed or wounded by gunshots.
The parade mass shooting comes with gun violence fresh on the minds of many Americans.
Chicago Police say 68 people were shot in the city between Friday at 6 p.m. and just before midnight on Monday, leaving eight people dead.
Two Philadelphia police offers were shot near the Benjamin Franklin Parkway as thousands of people celebrated a Fourth of July concert and fireworks show hours after the shooting in Highland Park.
Both officers were later released from the hospital.
On May 19th, school children and teachers were murdered at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.
That happened just ten days after a man shot and killed ten people at a Buffalo, New York grocery store.
In recent weeks, we have seen several notable gun tragedies:
-A shooting at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in a Birmingham suburb left at least two people dead, and another hospitalized on June 16th.
-June 13th a man fired gunshots at a Dallas-area gymnasium where at least 150 children were attending a day camp.
-A shooting in front of a nightclub in Chattanooga caused the death of three people, and injuries to 14 others, including one juvenile.
-A gunman killed his surgeon and three others at a medical office on June 1st. The gunman killed himself as police arrived.
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