Police said that six people were killed and more than twenty-five were injured when a gunman opened fire on a Fourth of July parade at Highland Park, Illinois. According to Joe Schrage, Chief of Highland Park Fire Department, some victims, including a child, were in critical condition at the time they were taken from the scene.
Highland Park Police Commander Chris O'Neill stated that law enforcement agencies are still looking for the suspect during a press conference. People living in the downtown area were advised to seek shelter.
Officials from law enforcement identified Robert Crimo III, 22 years old, as a person-of-interest in the shooting. Officials said that Crimo, who goes by Bobby, is from the area. Crimo is thought to be dangerous and armed. He could be driving a silver Honda Fit 2010 with Illinois license plate DM-80653.
Chris Covelli, spokesperson for Lake County Major Crime Task Force, said that authorities have been moving people out of buildings to search for the gunman.
The suspect was described by police as a White male between 18 and 20 years old with long black hair and a small build, wearing a white or blu T-shirt.
Witnesses and police said that it seemed like the gunman was firing at the crowd from a roof near the parade route.
Investigators claimed that a firearm was recovered from the crime scene, and they were working to track it down. Covelli described it as a "high-powered rifle."
Jennifer Banek, Lake County Coroner, told reporters that five people died on the spot. Banek stated that the sixth victim was pronounced dead at a hospital and that she did not have any details.
Dr. Brigham Temple was the Highland Park Hospital's medical director for emergency preparedness. He said 26 patients were brought to the hospital, 25 of which had been shot. Four patients were transported to Glenbrook Hospital while four others were transferred to Evanston Hospital. Several other patients were also taken to hospitals not part of the Northshore Medical System network.
Two of the Highland Park Hospital patients were initially transferred to Evanston Hospital. One to receive further neurosurgical care, and the other to the pediatric unit. After emergency surgery, another patient was transferred from Skokie Hospital to Skokie Hospital. A fourth patient was transferred from Homer Children's Hospital to Homer Children's Hospital.
Temple stated that 19 Highland Park Hospital patients had been discharged and were being treated. Only two Highland Park Hospital patients remained, and both were stable.
Temple stated that the ages of the patients ranged between 8 and 85 years. He also said that he believed four to five patients were children.
Around 10:14 AM, more than 100 law enforcement officers from several agencies responded to the shooting in the suburb north Chicago.
Covelli stated that the gunman stopped firing when officers approached the building, and then managed to escape authorities.
Covelli stated that all indications point to him being discreet and difficult to see.
Covelli stated that it sounds like spectators were targeted.
According to Pat Milton, senior CBS News investigative producer Pat Milton, investigators are looking through surveillance cameras for evidence of the shooting. They also examine cellphone videos of parade-goers.
In the wake of the shooting, police and ambulances from many jurisdictions stormed the scene. The scene captured people being taken to ambulances.
Elyssa Kaufman (CBS Chicago digital producer), was at the parade with her family when she heard gunshots.
Kaufman stated, "Everyone was running, hiding, and screaming." It was terrifying. It was extremely scary. We were very lucky to get out quickly.
CBS Chicago witnesses said that there was confusion at first over whether loud bangs were part Independence Day celebrations.
A woman from Chicago told CBS Chicago that she saw people running, ducking, and screaming. "I ran with my little girl and ran into a small store. But I was afraid because I didn’t know if they were coming or if they were in the building."
Lynn Sweet, Chicago Sun-Times columnist, posted a video to Twitter showing a band performing on a truck during the parade while a crowd ran the other direction.
My video. My video. pic.twitter.com/DSe0NJOuem
Sweet said that the shooting took place near the reviewing station for the parade.
She said, "I saw things people shouldn't be able to see." "I saw corpses. "I saw people who were injured. I saw pools full of blood."
She estimates that hundreds of people lined up along the parade route in numbers between two and three people deep. She stated that it was obvious that people were leaving in a hurry.
She said, "You saw baby carriages. They're still there on the scene... there are water bottles." "It's just an instant frozen in time when people didn't care much about their belongings because they wanted out of there."
Nancy Rotering, Highland Park Mayor, stated that the remainder of the festival was canceled and that several other nearby communities had also cancelled their parades.
Rotering stated that "on a day when we came together to celebrate freedom and community, we are instead grieving the loss, tragic loss of life, and struggling with terror that was brought upon," at a press conference following the shooting.
In a statement, President Biden stated that he and Jill Biden were shocked by the senseless gun violence that had once again caused grief in an American community. We are thankful for all the first responders, law enforcement and police officers who responded to the situation. I spoke with Governor Pritzker, Mayor Rotering and offered my full support to their communities.
Biden later said, speaking on the White House's South Lawn, that "you all heard what happened today." Every day reminds us that democracy is not perfect. There is no guarantee about our way to live. It is up to us to defend and fight for it. We must also vote for it.
Governor JB Pritzker asked Illinoisans to pray for victims and their families as well as first responders. "But, grief won't bring back the victims and prayers alone won't put an end to the terror of rampant firearm violence in our country. He said that he would stand with Americans and Illinoisans to end the violence.
Pritzker stated, at a Monday evening press conference: "I want today to honor the heroism of law enforcement who ran towards the gunshots they heard today." Particularly, lives were saved by the Highland Park Police Department's brave protection and service of their community.
Pritzker stated that there are no words to describe the evil that appears at a public celebration for freedom, hides on top of a roof, and shoots innocent people using an assault rifle." Pritzker called for increased gun control.
He said that mass shootings had become a weekly American tradition. There will be those who claim that today is not the right day or that the right time is not now to discuss guns. I can assure you that there is no better moment or better time than right now. ... Our founders had muskets and not assault weapons. I doubt that any of them would have claimed that an assault weapon with high capacity magazines is a constitutional right, or that it was more important than the rights of those who attended the parade today to live.
At the same press conference Senator Tammy Duckworth reiterated Pritzker’s call for gun control legislation. She praised the bipartisan gun control bill that was signed into law last month, but said, "Today, we have seen, that we can’t just stop here."
She stated, "We must get rid of high-capacity magazines and assault weapons,"
"I just listened the gunfire from one of those videos, and let's tell you, the last time I heard such a powerful weapon firing so quickly on the Fourth of July was in Iraq. Duckworth, who was injured in combat in 2004, said that it wasn't the United States of America. "We can, should, and will do better.
Kathryn Watson contributed reporting.