The suspected Highland Park parade gunman has posted graphic images on the internet

What began as a much-loved 4th of July tradition turned into tragedy after a gunman opened fire on Monday morning during a Christmas parade in Chicago suburb of Highland Park, Illinois, killing six and injuring dozens more. .

Robert E. Crimo III is the suspected gunman, Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering told the Morning Edition Tuesday morning. She said the allegations are expected soon.

Police first identified Crimo – who according to Highland Park police is 21 – as a person of interest on Monday. He was arrested later that night after a manhunt lasting several hours when a police officer stopped him at a traffic stop.

Authorities said the suspect fired a high-powered rifle into the crowd from the roof of a nearby store, which he allegedly accessed using an unsecured ladder attached to the building.

The suspect is not a resident of Highland Park and obtained the gun legally, Rotering told Morning Edition, in what she called a violation of local law.

That’s because Highland Park was one of the first places to ban weapons like semi-automatic rifles and high-capacity magazines in 2013. But as Rotering noted, the laws differ in cities across the country. Illinois and neighboring states like Wisconsin and Indiana. She calls for greater cooperation between states to prevent similar tragedies from happening in other hometowns.

“We know that with so many of these mass shootings now becoming a weekly occurrence, the guns are obtained legally,” she said. “It should tell us all that if people can’t attend a 4th of July parade with their grandparents without fear, the laws aren’t doing their job. We don’t have to become such a militarized nation that we can no longer enjoy the freedoms people fought for 246 years ago.”

Here’s what we know so far:

The alleged shooter had posted violent images online
The alleged shooter is an aspiring rapper who calls himself “Awake the Rapper” and posts music videos on YouTube and other social media platforms.

NPR’s Cheryl Corley told the Morning Edition that some of these videos were “ominous and violent,” including one showing a stick figure with an automatic rifle and a person lying in a pool of blood. Another shows a person in a classroom donning a tactical helmet and vest and reaching for a backpack.

Those videos have since been deleted, Corley reports.

Mayor Rotering told NBC that she did not believe the suspect was previously known to police, but that several of his online posts “reflected a plan and a desire to wreak havoc well in advance.”

She also said she knew him when he was a Cub Scout and she was the Cub Scout leader.

His family is well known in the community, according to Corley. His father runs a supermarket in the area and ran for mayor of Highland Park in 2019, losing more than 2-1 to Rotering. He was arrested after a police chase
Crimo, then a person of interest, was arrested about eight hours after the shooting.

Highland Park Police Chief Lou Jogmen said during a briefing on Monday night that an officer saw him driving a silver Honda Fit in northern Chicago and stopped him at a traffic stop. The man tried to escape, but the officer called for reinforcements and was able to capture him without incident after a short chase.

Rotering told Morning Edition that he understood that the suspect was able to evade the police for so long by “driving everywhere”.

“I think they were able to achieve it at some point with the incredible collaboration of various agencies, municipal law enforcement, FBI, ATF, Illinois State Police,” he added.

Monday’s shooting, in particular, came in the wake of high-profile mass shootings in New York and Texas, and as outrage continued to mount over the police murder of 25-year-old Jayland Walker in Akron, Ohio, last week. Rashawn Ray, a colleague at the Brookings Institution, spoke to Morning Edition on Tuesday about the case, distinguishing between how police arrested Walker, who is black, and white criminal suspects like Crimo.

“The important point is that Jayland Walker was unarmed at the time he was killed, and a lot of people think that’s excessive compared to a white man who recently killed police officers, compared to yesterday, the Independence Day, a person who shot into a crowd, killing people and peacefully arrested,” he said.

Most of the injured were treated for gunshot wounds
Those injured in Monday’s shooting ranged in age from 8 to 85, including four or five children.

Member station WBEZ reports that dozens of people were taken to several area hospitals and while the vast majority were being treated for gunshot wounds, some were injured while fleeing the chaotic scene.

Doctor Brigham Temple of Highland Park Hospital said 25 of the 26 people treated were gunshot victims and 19 of them had been treated and released. Highland Park Fire Chief Joe Schrage said crews on the scene responded quickly and helped witnesses tie tourniquets.

Details of the victims emerge
According to Lake County Coroner Jennifer Banek, five of the six victims of the attack were adults who died at the scene, and the sixth victim died at a local hospital.