Just moments ago, Deputy Chief Chris Covelli of the Lake county sheriff’s office held a news conference with reporters. Here’s what we learned.
- Covelli said the search for the gunman continued and urged witnesses to turn over security footage and photos to authorities to assist the investigation. “Investigators are combing through social media to see if there’s any clues or information that they can uncover,” he said.
- He declined to give details about the that was recovered, saying only that it was a “high-powered rifle”. Spectators at the parade appeared to the target.
- Covelli said authorities believe the gunman fired from the rooftop of a local business. “All indications is he was discreet and he was very difficult to see.”
- He stressed that the gunman remained at large, warning: “Could this happen again? We don’t know what his intentions are at this point.”
- Cdr Chris O’Neill of the Highland police said that officers assigned to the parade ran in the direction of the shooting when gunfire erupted at 10.14am local time. (It is common for police or other law enforcement officials to be stationed alongside parade routes for traffic control and public safety.)
The Illinois governor, JB Pritzker, addressed residents this evening:
“If you are angry today, I’m here to tell you to be angry. I’m furious. I’m furious that yet more innocent lives were taken by gun violence,” he said. “While we celebrate the 4th of July just once a year, mass shootings have become our weekly–yes, weekly American tradition.”
House speaker Nancy Pelosi has issued a statement.
“Americans’ hearts are broken by the senseless gun violence in Highland Park today, as innocent families were celebrating this all-American holiday. We pray for all those who have lost loved ones and for the entire community forever scarred by this shooting,” she said in a tweet.
Just to give a sense of how many high-profile shootings the US experiences, the Associated Press produced a list of those in just the last few months.
Vestavia Hills, Alabama: At least two people died and another was hospitalized on 16 June after a shooting at St Stephen’s Episcopal Church in a Birmingham suburb.
Duncanville, Texas: Police shot and killed a man who fired gunshots on 13 June at a Dallas-area gymnasium where at least 150 children were attending a day camp.
Chattanooga, Tennessee: Three people died and 14 people were injured in a shooting on 5 June in front of a restaurant. Three people have been arrested.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Three people died and 11 others were injured on 4 June on a busy block in Philadelphia during a melee that began with a fistfight and was followed by random gunfire.
Dayton, Ohio: An incarcerated person being treated at a hospital shot and killed a security guard on 1 June, pointed the weapon at others and killed himself in a parking lot.
Tulsa, Oklahoma: A gunman killed his surgeon and three other people at a medical office on 1 June. The gunman killed himself as police arrived.
Uvalde, Texas: An 18-year-old gunman killed 19 children and two adults at Robb elementary school on 24 May in the deadliest school shooting in nearly a decade. More than 15 other people were wounded. Law enforcement killed the attacker.
Chicago, Illinois: A shooting killed two people and injured seven others on 19 May just blocks from the Magnificent Mile shopping district. Two men have been charged.
Laguna Woods, California: One person was killed and five others injured on 15 May after a man opened fire on Taiwanese parishioners in southern California.
Buffalo, New York: A white gunman opened fire on 14 May at a supermarket in a predominantly Black neighborhood, killing 10 people and injuring others. He has been charged with federal hate crimes that could carry the death penalty if he is convicted.
Robert “Bobby” E Crimo III, 22, has been identified as a person of interest in a massive manhunt for the gunman of a shooting at a Highland Park Independence Day parade that left at least six people dead.
Authorities believe he’s driving a 2010 silver Honda Fit. Deputy Chief Chris Covelli of the Lake county sheriff’s office said he is considered “armed and dangerous”. He goes by “Bobby” and is believed to be from the area, police said.
Covelli urged the public to be “very vigilant”.
Police were working to determine whether the person of interest was still in the area or had fled and were asking anyone with information to come forward, he said.
Police said they would release photos shortly.
The next press conference is scheduled for 6pm local time and the governor is expected to attend.
Addressing the nation from the White House on July Fourth, Joe Biden made fleeting reference to the mass shooting in Highland Park.
“Y’all heard what happened today,” Biden said, hours after the shooting in Highland Park. “Each day we’re reminded there’s nothing guaranteed about our democracy – nothing guaranteed about our way of life. You have to fight for it, defend it and earn it by voting.”
He noted the gun control law he signed last month, a bill that broke decades of gridlock on the issue. “Things will get better still, but not without more hard work together,” he said, as part of an optimistic Independence Day speech that touched obliquely on the supreme court’s decisions that invalidated the constitutional right to abortion, expanded gun rights and hobbled the federal government’s ability to fight the climate crisis.
“In recent days, there’s been reason to think that this country is moving backwards,” he said. “That freedom is being reduced, that rights we assumed were protected are no longer – a reminder that we remain in an ongoing battle for the soul of America, as we have for over 200 years. I know it can be exhausting and unsettling. But tonight, I want you to know: we’re gonna get through all of this.”
Brigham Temple, the medical director of immediate care medicine at NorthShore University HealthSystem in Illinois, said the hospital received 26 patients, 25 of whom sustained gunshot wounds.
“Some of them were minor, some of them were more severe,” he said. The ages ranged from eight to 85, he said. He was not sure how many children had been injured but said it was at least four or five. He said 19 of those injured were able to be discharged. Two remain at the hospital in stable condition, while the others were transferred to nearby hospitals for treatment.
He praised the response from the medical team. The hospital system sent out a special alert to notify medical staff of a “mass casualty” event and doctors and nurses responded to the call.
Mark Talamonti, chairman of the department of surgery at NorthShore University HealthSystem, said the response was “nothing short of heroic”.
During a visit to a fire station in Santa Monica, Vice-President Kamala Harris said she still intends to travel to Chicago on Tuesday to speak at the National Education Association convention.
Harris said that she had just been telling the firefighters that she was preparing to discuss the ways in which gun violence and fears of mass shootings have compounded the already difficult job of being a teacher in America. She noted ruefully that the remarks on gun violence were prepared even before Monday’s shooting in Highland Park.
They go to school to learn how to teach our children, to inspire their ambition, to create the future generations of leaders, and our teachers are also in training to deal with an active shooter,” she said, previewing her remarks. “Our teachers are having to learn how to put a tourniquet on a kid if they have been shot.”
And so when we look at the issue of gun violence, and when we look at the dangers that it presents to communities, it ranges and it is something that we should take very seriously.
Nicolas Toledo was among the victims killed in Monday’s shooting, his family confirmed to CBS Chicago.
“We are all feeling pretty numb. We’re all pretty broken inside,” his granddaughter told the news station, which shared two photos of Toledo in a tweet.
Hours after the shooting, authorities have still not arrested the gunman, Commander Chris O’Neill of the Highland Park police told reporters at the latest press briefing. “A very active apprehension effort is currently under way,” he said, urging anyone with information to come forward.
He also noted that the Highland Park police station is reunification site for family and friends separated during the shooting.
The Lake County coroner, Jennifer Banek, said six people have died so far as a result of the shooting. All have been identified and authorities are working to notify their families.
Banek said five of the decedents were found dead at the scene. A sixth victim died at a local hospital. At least five of the people killed were adults.
Joe Schrage, the fire chief of Highland Park, said the fire department transported 23 victims to local hospitals, and more went to the hospital independently. There was at least one child transported in critical condition from the shooting scene. Schrage said he did not know the “outcome”.
Schrage said first responders were already on the scene for the parade and were able to administer first aid immediately, almost certainly saving lives.
Deputy Chief Chris Covelli of the Lake county sheriff’s office said the gun was being “heavily investigated” by Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Covelli would not say whether they had identified the shooter, but believed that there was only one gunman.
O’Neill said that police are working to evacuate those who are sheltering in place within the police perimeter. Asked about the duration of the shooting, O’Neill said the shooting unfolded quickly, the gunman fired “numerous” shots, and then he fled. “It was very expeditious, it was pretty quick and then the offender had fled the scene,” he said.
Covelli said it appeared the gunman accessed the roof using a ladder in the alley.
An American tradition cut short by a “uniquely” American tragedy. Gunshots rained on spectators at a July Fourth parade in Highland Park, an affluent suburb north of Chicago.
Footage shows attendees fleeing the scene as gun shots ring out, leaving behind water coolers, lawn chairs and American flags. In the chaotic rush to safety, parents were separated from children participating in the parade. At least six people were killed and two dozen injured, authorities said.
Images from the scene showed bloodied parade-goers fleeing.
Below are accounts from witnesses who were there, including footage from Lynn Sweet, a well known columnist at the Chicago-Sun Times. In the video, a band on a float festooned with red, white and blue continues to play as panicked onlookers run past.
A park official who was helping organize the parade told ABC News that he his first thought was that fireworks had been set off in someone’s backpack. But when the pops didn’t stop, he realized it was gun fire and immediately began helping those around him evacuate.
At the time of the interview, he was safe, sheltering in place, and trying to help parents re-connect with their children.
Gina Troiani told the Associated Press that she and her son were lined up with his daycare class to walk in the parade when she first heard the gunshots, which she thought were fireworks until she heard people shout that it was a shooter.
“We just start running in the opposite direction,” she told the AP.
“It was just sort of chaos,” she added. “There were people that got separated from their families, looking for them. Others just dropped their wagons, grabbed their kids and started running.”
Speaking to the Chicago Sun-Times, Alexander Sandoval, he and his family were separated in the chaos. He grabbed his 5-year-old son Alex, and fled, while his partner ran in another direction with her 6-year-old daughter Melani.
“I grabbed my son and tried to break into one of the local buildings, but I couldn’t,” Sandoval recounted to the paper. “The shooting stopped. I guess he was reloading. So I kept running and ran into an alley and put my son in a garbage dumpster so he could be safe.”
The AP also spoke to Debbie Glickman, a Highland Park resident, who was on a parade float with coworkers when she saw people running.
“People started saying: ‘There’s a shooter, there’s a shooter, there’s a shooter,”’ she told the Associated Press. “So we just ran. We just ran. It’s like mass chaos down there.”
“I’m so freaked out,” Glickman said. “It’s just so sad.”