Suspect arrested over mass shooting at Chicago July 4th parade

Six people were killed and dozens more were injured as they watched parade in Highland Park suburb

A 22-year-old man who had been wanted in connection with the mass shooting at a 4th of July parade near Chicago was last night arrested by police.

Police said that Robert Crimo had been detained following a brief car chase.

Authorities in the suburb of Highland Park had earlier identified Mr Crimo as a person of interest in relation to the mass shooting at the independence day parade in which six people were killed and dozens more injured.

Chief Lou Jogmen of the Highland Park police said Mr Crimo had been spotted in a car by a north Chicago police unit on Monday evening.

He said he had fled when police tried to stop him.

Mr Crimo was taken into custody following a brief chase at Lake Forest, a suburb not far from the site of the shootings.

Highland Park is an affluent suburb of about 30,000 people. It is situated along the Lake Michigan shore, about 25 miles north of Chicago.

Police said that shortly after 10am on Monday morning a 4th of July parade was passing through the suburb when shots were fired at those watching from the pavement.

Five people were killed at the scene of the shootings and another person died later in hospital.

Authorities in Illinois said dozens of people had been taken to various hospitals in the region with estimates of those wounded ranging from 25 to nearly 40.

Those injured in the gun attack were between eight and 85-years-old.

Police said they believed the gunman had used a high-powered rifle and had fired from a nearby rooftop.

A rife was found at the scene of the attack.

Police said officers assigned to work at the parade had run towards the gunfire when the shots were heard but the gunman had ceased firing and escaped as they closed in.

A major manhunt was launched involving hundreds of police and other law enforcement personnel.

US president Joe Biden said he was “shocked by the senseless gun violence that has yet again brought grief to an American community”.

He said he had recently signed “the first major bipartisan gun reform legislation in almost 30 years into law, which includes actions that will save lives”.

“But there is much more work to do, and I’m not going to give up fighting the epidemic of gun violence,” Mr Biden said.

Mayor of Highland Park Nancy Rotering described Monday as “the bloodiest day“ it had ever experienced.

“Our community, like so many before us, is devastated. It’s impossible to imagine the pain of this kind of tragedy until it happens in your backyard.”

Illinois governor J B Pritzker, a Democrat, said he was furious that children and families had been traumatized and that mass shootings had now become “a weekly American tradition”.

“Our founders carried muskets, not assault weapons. And I don’t think a single one of them would have said you have a constitutional right to an assault weapon with a high-capacity magazine – or that that is more important than the right of the people who attended this parade today to live. Yes, I’m angry. We, as a nation, deserve better.”

The shootings on Monday at the 4th of July parade came just weeks after 10 people were killed in a gun attack in a supermarket in Buffalo, New York while 19 children and two teachers were murdered after a gunman broke into their school in Uvalde, Texas.

Martin Wall

Martin Wall

Martin Wall is Washington Correspondent of The Irish Times. He was previously industry correspondent