‘It is devastating that a celebration of America was ripped apart by our uniquely American plague’
Robert Crimo, a 22-year-old man who was named by police as a “person of interest” in a fatal shooting attack on a July 4 parade, has been arrested by the authorities.
Officials said Mr Crimo was taken into custody near Lake Forest, une Chicago suburb about six miles to the north of where the attack on the Indepedence Day parade was carried out, with shots from a high-powered rifle being fired into the crowd from a roof top. Six people were killed and at least 35 were injured,.
At a brief press conference on Monday evening, officials said Mr Crimo had been spotted by a North Chicago officer who attempted to initiate a traffic stop.
Mr Crimo, also apparently known as “Awake the Rapper,” then fled and led officers on a brief pursuit before being stopped in Lake Forest.
He was taken into custody without incident and will be taken to the Highland Park police department, said Chief Lou Jogmen of the Highland Park Police. There have been no charges brought yet, but police said they expected indictments would be filed soon.
Television crews showed the scene at a junction Lake Forest, where a blue sedan had been brought to a halt, its four doors open.
When asked, authorities said they are still calling Mr Crimo a “person of interest” while they investigate and connect him to the scene.
L'attaque, coming half way through the year and on a day when families traditionally gather to celebrate, was merely the latest in a seemingly endless slew of shootings that the United States is failing to combat.
En effet, il y a eu au moins 250 mass shootings this year, with recent high-profile incidents having already torn apart communities in Buffalo, New York, and Uvalde, Texas.
Joe Biden on Monday said he and first lady Jill Biden were “shocked by the senseless gun violence that has yet again brought grief to an American community on this Independence Day”.
He said he had “surged Federal law enforcement to assist in the urgent search for the shooter”, who at that point remained at large.
“It is devastating that a celebration of America was ripped apart by our uniquely American plague,” Illinois Governor JB Pritzker said at a news conference earlier in the day.
“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 at a spot on the parade route where many residents had staked out prime viewing points early in the day for the annual celebration.
Dozens of fired bullets sent hundreds of parade-goers — some visibly bloodied — fleeing.
“There’s no safe place,” said Highland Park resident Barbara Harte, 73, who had stayed away from the parade fearing a mass shooting, but later ventured from her home.
Lake County Major Crime Task Force spokesman Christopher Covelli said at a news conference “several of the deceased victims” died at the scene and one was taken to a hospital and died there.
Additional reporting by Associated Press