July 5, 2022 Highland Park, Illinois, parade shooting news

By Travis Caldwell, Kelly McCleary, Aditi Sangal, Adrienne Vogt, Maureen Chowdhury, Elise Hammond and Melissa Macaya, CNN

Updated 9:15 PM ET, Tue July 5, 2022
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3:19 p.m. ET, July 5, 2022

In the wake of parade mass shooting, McConnell touts bipartisan gun law

From CNN's Ali Zaslav

(KFVS)
(KFVS)

In the wake of the mass shooting at the July 4 parade in Highland Park, Illinois, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell did not explicitly say Congress should do more to address gun violence, instead saying that the recently passed bipartisan gun legislation has “targeted the problem,” which he said is mental health.

“I think yesterday’s shooting is another example of what the problem is. The problem is mental health and these young men who seem to be inspired to commit these atrocities. So, I think the bill that we passed targeted the problem. In that particular instance, it was school safety and mental health," McConnell said.

"We have got to figure out some way to identify these troubled young men, and it’s very complicated because after every one of these shootings there are people that say, ‘Oh, I thought he was pretty strange, I wish I’d notified somebody about it.’ One of the things we did in our bill, although the shooter yesterday was [21], we did open up the juvenile records to do background checks and hopefully that will help us do a better job of identifying people who have these mental problems before they carry out these awful atrocities,” he added

More context: Studies show, however, that people with severe mental illnesses are more than 10 times more likely to be victims of violent crime than the general population and only about 3% to 5% of violent acts can be attributed to serious mental illness, according to the US Department of Health and Human Services.

In his prepared remarks at the Paducah Area Chamber of Commerce Public Policy Luncheon in Paducah, Kentucky, on Tuesday, McConnell generally referenced recent shootings and the new bipartisan gun legislation, but didn’t specifically speak to the shooting in Highland Park. 

“Recently, in the wake of all of these shootings, I joined both sides in the Senate in passing a bill related to school safety and mental illness,” he said in a speech, “while at the same time not infringing upon anybody's Second Amendment rights.”

He did address the Illinois parade shooting when asked by a reporter after his speech. 

2:39 p.m. ET, July 5, 2022

Doctor waiting for family at parade describes treating gunshot victim moments after shooting began

From CNN's Elise Hammond

Dr. Wendy Binstock Rush, an anesthesiologist who was at the Fourth of July parade where the shooting unfolded, said several people with medical training tried to help those who were shot during the event in Highland Park, Illinois.

A suspected gunman killed six people and injured dozens of others when he opened fire into the parade crowd from the roof of a building. Police say the suspected shooter used a "high-powered rifle" to fire more than 70 rounds on Monday.

Binstock Rush said she was waiting for her family to arrive at the parade when the shooting began. She said it seemed like the gunfire was close to where she was standing.

"Anybody who had, you know, any medical background from first aid to physicians all jumped into action to do whatever they could to help the situation," she told CNN on Tuesday.

When the gunfire stopped, she identified herself as an anesthesiologist physician and was led to what she says was the "most critical person at the time" — a man who was "profusely bleeding" from his abdomen, she said.

"CPR was in progress. People were holding pressure on an abdominal wound that he was profusely bleeding from," she said, adding that they continued CPR and started IV fluids to try to offset the blood he was losing.

Eventually, paramedics showed up and put the man in an ambulance.

"We took him into the hospital, and we spent about another 20 to 30 minutes working on him, but unfortunately, he had lost way too much blood and his injuries were too severe and he did perish at the hospital," she said.

2:42 p.m. ET, July 5, 2022

Residents say they'd seen the suspect in the area and recognized him from his face tattoos and colorful hair 

From CNN's Eric Levenson in Highland Park, Illinois

Some residents of Highland Park, Illinois, told CNN that they recognized shooting suspect Robert E. Crimo III, after police released photos of him due to his distinctive appearance, stating that they had seen him recently around the area.

Eric Januszewski and Kate McCarney live just a block away from the shooting scene and came out Tuesday morning with their rescue dog Biff to see the crime scene. A day earlier, Januszewski was at his home during the parade, heard the gunshots and saw the stampede of people fleeing. He offered waters and sodas to police in the hours afterward as they baked in the sun.

Both recognized the suspect, Crimo, from previous run-ins, primarily due to his colorful hair and prominent face tattoos. At a recent carnival in Highwood, Januszewski said he commented to Crimo about the face tattoos, noting they were “quite a commitment.” Crimo agreed and then told Januszewski to check out his SoundCloud account, he said.

Ellen Cohen and Rob Phillips
Ellen Cohen and Rob Phillips (courtesy Rob Phillips)

Other residents who were at the Fourth of July parade reflected on the chaotic scene that ensued once the shooting started.

Ellen Cohen and Rob Phillips attended the parade and set up their chairs near its start, a block away from Central Avenue, where the shooting ultimately took place. They wanted to avoid the crowds.

They snapped a selfie of themselves smiling and enjoyed watching a group of kids bike through the parade route just minutes prior to the start of the official parade. About 10-15 minutes after the parade began, they heard what they thought was fireworks and ultimately realized were gunshots and ran from the area. Ellen left behind her cell phone and returned hours later to retrieve it.

Robert E. Crimo III.
Robert E. Crimo III. (Highland Park Police Department)

For two residents, a last minute decision to skip the parade left them wondering what would have happened if they hadn't change their mind.

Anisah and Steve Mihaljevic live on Central Avenue and Linden Avenue, just a block from the parade route. They were in Skokie, Illinois, visiting her parents on Monday morning and considered coming home for the parade after an invite from some friends. But they decided not to, partly out of laziness — a decision that left them wondering, “What if?”

“It was just so random that we ended up not being here,” Anisah told CNN, sitting on a bench near the crime scene. “It was one of those random decisions that ends up changing your life.”

They noted that last month, on June 11, there was a March For Our Lives rally in downtown Highland Park and at Sunset Park, where the parade ends. Their daughters attended and held signs calling for change.

2:15 p.m. ET, July 5, 2022

FBI inspecting parade area where people hastily left belongings as they ran for safety 

From CNN's Eric Levenson in Highland Park, Illinois

Members of the FBI conduct a search after the shooting in Highland Park, Illinois, on Monday.
Members of the FBI conduct a search after the shooting in Highland Park, Illinois, on Monday. (Nam Y. Huh/AP)

The FBI is combing the area of the mass shooting in Highland Park, Illinois, for evidence. 

On the morning after Monday's shooting, three blocks of Central Avenue in downtown Highland Park remain blocked off behind police lines. 

Flowers lay near the scene of the shooting in Highland Park, Illinois, on Tuesday.
Flowers lay near the scene of the shooting in Highland Park, Illinois, on Tuesday. (Taylor Glascock for CNN)

FBI agents today have been inspecting belongings left behind by people attending the July 4 parade in the city yesterday, including folding chairs, blankets and a child’s car stroller.

A police officer walks through the scene of the shooting on Monday.
A police officer walks through the scene of the shooting on Monday. (Nam Y. Huh/AP)

The suspected shooter killed at least six people and injured dozens of others on Monday. The suspect, who was taken into custody later Monday, climbed onto a rooftop of a business and opened fire on the parade about 20 minutes after it started.

Bystanders said they initially thought the sound of gunfire was fireworks.

FBI agents investigate at the scene of the shooting on Tuesday.
FBI agents investigate at the scene of the shooting on Tuesday. (Cheney Orr/Reuters)

The area is a wealthy suburb through and through. On the east end of the police tape is a Metra train crossing and St. John’s Avenue; the four corners are a Veterans Memorial to Highland Park soldiers, a parking lot, a salon, and a bank. On the west end of the police tape is Green Bay Road; on its corners are a gas station and an Anthropologie store.

People’s belongings lie abandoned along the parade route on Tuesday.
People’s belongings lie abandoned along the parade route on Tuesday. (Cheney Orr/Reuters)

1:29 p.m. ET, July 5, 2022

Here's what we know so far about what happened during the parade shooting that killed 6 people

From CNN staff

Members of the FBI walk the scene one day after the shooting in Highland Park, Illinois, on Tuesday.
Members of the FBI walk the scene one day after the shooting in Highland Park, Illinois, on Tuesday. (Charles Rex Arbogast/AP)

Police are releasing new details about what they believe happened during a shooting at a Fourth of July parade in Highland Park, Illinois, that killed six people on Monday. The suspected gunman, Robert E. Crimo III, is in custody but has not yet been charged.

Police say the shooting suspect used a "high-powered rifle" — which was purchased legally in Illinois — to shoot more than 70 rounds into the crowd from the roof of a building. Law enforcement said they have not yet determined a motive, but they believe the attack was planned for several weeks.

Here's what else police say happened:

  • The suspected gunman was dressed in women's clothing during the attack and investigators believe he did so to conceal his facial tattoos and his identity, according to Deputy Chief Christopher Covelli, a spokesperson for the Lake County Sheriff’s Office. After the shooting, the suspect exited the roof, dropped his rifle and blended in with the crowd as he escaped, police say.
  • After the shooting, police say the suspect walked to his mother's house and took her vehicle. Police released the information about the vehicle on Monday afternoon, and someone called 911 when they saw Crimo and the car, Covelli said.
  • When officers pulled over the vehicle, they found a second rifle — also purchased by Crimo, Covelli said. He said that police believe the suspected shooter acted alone.
  • Police in Highwood, Illinois – the hometown of Crimo — had no prior crime-related interactions with the suspected shooter, said Highwood Police Department Chief Dave Wentz. 

What comes next:

Covelli said that investigators are not ready to announce charges yet against the shooting suspect. He added that investigators are still developing leads and reviewing "critical information." Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering told CNN she expects charges to be announced later Tuesday.

At the same time, FBI agents today have been inspecting belongings left behind by people attending the July 4th parade in the city yesterday, including folding chairs, blankets and a child’s car stroller.

1:06 p.m. ET, July 5, 2022

Family describes Highland Park shooting victim Nicolas Toledo as "creative, adventurous and funny"

From CNN’s Ana Melgar Zuniga, Fidel Gutierrez and David Williams

Nicolas Toledo
Nicolas Toledo (Family photo)

Nicolas Toledo, 78, was identified as one of the victims of the mass shooting in downtown Highland Park, Illinois, during a Fourth of July parade, an official of the Mexican state of Morelos confirmed to CNN.

Six of Toledo’s eight children live in the United States. One of them was injured in the shooting as well as two other members of the Toledo family, according to a statement from Mexican authorities.

Toledo loved to paint, go fishing and go on walks with his family in the park, his granddaughter Kimberly Rangel told CNN affiliate WBBM.

Xochil Toledo, another grandchild, started a GoFundMe page, where she describes Toledo as a “loving man” who was “creative, adventurous and funny.”

“My grandfather Nicolas Toledo father of 8 and grandfather to many left us this morning July 4th,” Xochil Toledo wrote. “What was suppose[d] to be a fun family day turned into a horrific nightmare for us all.”

“As a family we are broken, and numb,” she wrote, adding that her grandfather is now the family’s guardian angel and asked people to keep them in her prayers.

“I love you abuelito. Descansa en paz,” she wrote.

According to the official in Mexico, Toledo's family wants to repatriate him to Mexico.

1:00 p.m. ET, July 5, 2022

YouTube and Spotify remove content tied to Highland Park shooting suspect

From CNN's Brian Fung

YouTube and Spotify have removed content tied to the Highland Park shooting suspect from their platforms, the companies confirmed to CNN on Tuesday.

The content in question had been posted to multiple online streaming services and contained ominous lyrics and animated scenes of gun violence, CNN previously reported.

"Following the horrific incident in Highland Park, our Trust and Safety teams identified and quickly removed violative content, in accordance with our Community Guidelines," YouTube said in a statement.

"Spotify, in partnership with the distributor, has removed the content in question," Spotify said in a statement.

The companies declined to answer CNN's questions about whether the suspect's content had been flagged or reported previously for violations of the platforms' respective terms of service. The companies also declined to say when precisely they removed the suspect’s content. 

CNN has also reached out to Apple Music, Amazon Music, Tidal and Pandora with similar questions, but the companies have not yet responded.

12:49 p.m. ET, July 5, 2022

Biden orders flags to half-staff to honor Highland Park victims

From CNN's Betsy Klein

President Biden is honoring the victims of the mass shooting in Highland Park, Illinois, on Tuesday with a proclamation calling for the flags to be lowered to half-staff through Saturday.

“I hereby order that the flag of the United States shall be flown at half-staff at the White House and upon all public buildings and grounds, at all military posts and naval stations, and on all naval vessels of the Federal Government in the District of Columbia and throughout the United States and its Territories and possessions until sunset, July 9, 2022,” Biden said in a statement.

12:57 p.m. ET, July 5, 2022

Suspect was wearing women's clothing to blend into the crowd after shooting, police say

From CNN’s Rebekah Riess

The suspected gunman was dressed in women's clothing during Monday's attack and investigators believe he did so to conceal his facial tattoos and his identity, according to Deputy Chief Christopher Covelli, a spokesperson for the Lake County Sheriff’s Office.

Covelli said the suspect's disguise helped him blend in with the other people who were fleeing the scene.

Following the attack the suspect exited the roof, dropped his rifle and blended in with the crowd as he escaped, Covelli said. According to police, the suspected gunman then walked to his mother's home, who lived in the area, where he took his mother's vehicle.

Covelli said he wasn't sure exactly of what the women's attire consisted of, but noted that it was initially reported the person had long hair, meaning the suspect could have been wearing a wig.