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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6:08 a.m. ET, July 5, 2022

Here's what we know about the suspect taken into custody in connection with the shooting

(Highland Park Police Department)
(Highland Park Police Department)

Robert E. Crimo III, identified by police as the person suspected of shooting and killing six people and wounding dozens of others Monday morning at a Fourth of July parade in Highland Park, Illinois, has been arrested, authorities said Monday evening.

Police believe the suspected gunman opened fire shortly after 10 a.m. CT from the rooftop of a business near the parade route. The gun was a "high-powered rifle" and the attack appeared to be "random" and "intentional," said Christopher Covelli, spokesperson for the Lake County Major Crime Task Force.

Here's what we know about the suspected gunman:

  • Suspect was apprehended hours after shooting: Federal, state and local authorities identified Crimo on Monday after the shooting and asked for the public's help in locating him, saying he was believed to be driving a 2010 silver Honda Fit. Crimo was spotted by a North Chicago officer who attempted to initiate a traffic stop, and he then fled and led officers on a brief pursuit before being stopped in Lake Forest, Illinois, authorities said late Monday. He was taken into custody without incident, police said. In video taken by a bystander, police can be heard giving commands for Crimo to get out of the vehicle. Police with guns drawn are seen as Crimo exits the vehicle with his hands in the air.
  • Suspect posted violent imagery online: The suspected gunman posted online music videos he apparently made that featured ominous sounding lyrics and animated scenes of gun violence. One video shows a cartoon animation of a stick-figure shooter -- resembling Crimo’s appearance -- in tactical gear carrying out an attack with a rifle. In another video, a similar stick-figure cartoon character resembling Crimo is depicted lying face down on the floor in a pool of his own blood surrounded by police officers with their guns drawn. The Facebook and Twitter accounts believed to belong to Crimo were taken down after he was named by authorities as a person of interest.
  • Digital evidence helped investigators determine suspect: Law enforcement officials have “processed a significant amount of digital evidence today which helped lead investigators” toward identifying Crimo as a suspect, Covelli said late Monday. Police labeled Crimo "a person of interest" during their manhunt after the shooting, which Covelli said, “calling somebody a suspect or person of interest, it’s really synonymous … This individual is believed to have been responsible for what happened and the investigation will continue. Charges have not been approved yet at this time -- and we are a long way from that." Highland Park Police identified the suspect as being 22 years old, but a later FBI bulletin reported he was 21. CNN has reached out to authorities for more information.
  • Suspect’s uncle saw no warning signs, he says: An uncle of the suspect told CNN he saw no warning signs that would prompt him to believe his nephew would have been involved in such a tragedy. “I’m heartbroken. I’m so heartbroken,” Paul A. Crimo said, expressing remorse for the families of the victims and adding he spoke at length to law enforcement Monday about his nephew. The suspect lives in an apartment behind the house owned by his father, Paul said, adding that he last saw his nephew Sunday evening looking at his computer and not acting out of the ordinary.

2:12 a.m. ET, July 5, 2022

Analysis: July 4 parade slaughter again shows nowhere is safe from America's mass killing contagion

Analysis from CNN's Stephen Collinson

A man carries his belongings after a mass shooting at the Highland Park Fourth of July parade in downtown Highland Park, Illinois, on Monday.
A man carries his belongings after a mass shooting at the Highland Park Fourth of July parade in downtown Highland Park, Illinois, on Monday. (Nam Y. Huh/AP)

America's latest mass shooting turned a cherished July Fourth parade from a scene of patriotic joy into one of fear and death.

The rapid bursts of a high-powered rifle brought the chilling reality that no one can be sure they are safe, anywhere, to one of the nation's most unifying gatherings.

In that instant, Highland Park joined Uvalde, Columbine, Newtown and Parkland and a long list of cities and towns known across the country for the massacre of innocents in a gun violence contagion that makes the United States an outlier in developed societies.

Television pictures Monday of police vehicles in Highland Park rushing to help beneath a billowing American flag added an ironic, new dimension to this latest horror. It took place as Americans gathered to celebrate the 246th anniversary of the freedoms inherent in American independence.

Yet what unfolded encapsulated the quintessentially American cycle of death by firearms. When a gunman killed three people in a mall shooting in Copenhagen, Denmark, over the weekend, it was shocking because it was unusual. But while Monday's shooting outside Chicago was unexpected, another mass shooting in the US was hardly a surprise.

Read the full analysis here:

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

Gun Violence Archive: Over the past 186 days, there have been more than 300 mass shootings in the US

From CNN's Travis Caldwell

The shooting deaths of six people at a parade in Illinois was one of several mass shootings over the Fourth of July holiday weekend in the US, according to data compiled by the Gun Violence Archive, a nonprofit that tracks gun violence incidents across the country.

As of July 5, there have been at least 311 mass shootings since the beginning of the year, according to the archive. July 5 is the 186th day of 2022.

The Gun Violence Archive, like CNN, defines a mass shooting as one in which at least four people are shot, excluding the shooter.

Last year was the worst year on record since the Gun Violence Archive began tracking mass shootings in 2014. There were a total of 692 mass shootings in the US in 2021, the nonprofit says.

2:19 a.m. ET, July 5, 2022

Here are the latest developments in the Illinois Fourth of July parade shooting

An aerial photo shows law enforcement officers investigating the scene at the Fourth of July parade in Highland Park, Illinois, on Monday.
An aerial photo shows law enforcement officers investigating the scene at the Fourth of July parade in Highland Park, Illinois, on Monday. (Tannen Maury/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock)

At least six people were killed in a mass shooting at a July Fourth parade in Highland Park, Illinois, located about 25 miles north of Chicago.

A suspect, identified by police as Robert E. Crimo III, has been arrested after being spotted driving following the shooting and led police on a brief chase, authorities said.

Here are the latest developments:

  • Video shows officers taking suspect into custody: Ryan Lerman, a delivery driver, told CNN he had been following the news and noticed right away a Honda Fit that Crimo was suspected of driving, capturing the moments of his arrest on video. “He was there for a minute and then like seven cop cars showed up,” Lerman said. In the video, police can be heard giving commands for Crimo to get out of the vehicle. Police with guns drawn are seen as Crimo exits the vehicle with his hands in the air.
  • Digital evidence helped investigators determine suspect: When authorities discussed the apprehension of Crimo during an evening news conference, Lake County Major Crime Task Force spokesperson Christopher Covelli said law enforcement officials have “processed a significant amount of digital evidence today which helped lead investigators” toward identifying Crimo has a suspect. Earlier, as law enforcement searched for Crimo, police labeled him "a person of interest," which Covelli said, “calling somebody a suspect or person of interest, it’s really synonymous … This individual is believed to have been responsible for what happened and the investigation will continue. Charges have not been approved yet at this time -- and we are a long way from that."
  • People wounded range in age from 8 to 85, doctor says: A total of 26 patients were received at Highland Park Hospital, 25 of whom sustained gunshot wounds, according to Dr. Brigham Temple, medical director of NorthShore University Health System. The patients range in age from 8 to 85 years old, according to Temple, and 19 of the 25 gunshot victims were treated and have been discharged. Four or five of the patients were children, Temple said.
  • Officials pledge support for community: Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker and Sen. Tammy Duckworth said Monday they will ensure federal and state support goes to those affected by the shooting. "It is devastating that a celebration of America was ripped apart by our uniquely American plague," Pritzker said. "A day dedicated to freedom has put into stark relief the one freedom we, as a nation, refused to uphold. The freedom of our fellow citizens to live without the daily fear of gun violence." Duckworth said she’s been in touch with President Joe Biden and Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas, who she said have both pledged to send resources that are needed.
2:36 a.m. ET, July 5, 2022

6 people were killed in a mass shooting at a Fourth of July parade in Illinois. Here's what we know

First responders work the scene of a shooting at a Fourth of July parade in Highland Park, Illinois, on Monday.
First responders work the scene of a shooting at a Fourth of July parade in Highland Park, Illinois, on Monday. (Jim Vondruska/Getty Images)

At least six people were killed and more than 20 were wounded in a shooting at a Fourth of July parade in Highland Park, Illinois. It marks at least the 308th mass shooting in the US this year, according to data compiled by the Gun Violence Archive, a nonprofit tracking such incidents.

A suspect, identified by police as Robert E. Crimo III, has been arrested after a manhunt and brief chase from police ended without further incident, authorities said.

Here's what we know so far about the shooting:

  • Where it happened: Highland Park, Illinois, is located about 25 miles north of downtown Chicago. Police say the shooting started about 20 minutes from the start of the parade.
  • The shooting: Sgt. Christopher Covelli, from the Lake County Major Crime Task Force, said police have recovered a "high-powered rifle" on the rooftop of a business. Police say they believe the shooter was on the rooftop when he opened fire. Covelli said the suspect likely accessed the roof from a ladder in an alley. Officials have not disclosed where the building is specifically. A firearm that was recovered in Highland Park after the shooting is being urgently traced to figure out who purchased the weapon and where it came from, according to Kim Nerheim, spokesperson with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
  • The victims: Five of the people that were killed during the shooting died at the scene, Jennifer Banek, the Lake County coroner, said. All of those people were adults, she said. Another person died after they were transported to a local hospital, she added. Covelli said that it appeared that spectators and parade participants were targeted. Dr. Brigham Temple, of the NorthShore University Health System, said 26 people in total were brought to the hospital and 25 had gunshot injuries. At least 19 people were treated and discharged home. The victims age ranged from 8 to 85 years old, Temple added.
  • Witnesses: Several people who attended the parade told CNN they thought the gunshots were fireworks at first. Zoe Pawelczak said when she realized something was wrong, she grabbed her dad and started running. Others described the scene as chaotic as people ran away and took shelter.
  • The suspected shooter: The gunman was not apprehended at the scene, and authorities later named Robert E. Crimo III as a person of interest. Crimo was spotted in his vehicle by a North Chicago officer, then fled and led officers on a brief pursuit before being stopped. He was taken into custody without incident and will be taken to the Highland Park Police Department. Earlier, Highland Park Police identified the suspect as being 22 years old, but a later FBI bulletin reported he was 21. CNN has reached out to authorities for more information.
12:17 p.m. ET, July 5, 2022

Shooting suspect posted violent imagery

From CNN's Jeff Winter, Yahya Abou-Ghazala and David Williams

Suspected gunman Robert “Bobby” Crimo III posted online music videos he apparently made that featured ominous sounding lyrics and animated scenes of gun violence. 

In one video titled “Are you Awake,” Crimo is seen with multicolored hair and face tattoos and is narrating, “I need to just do it. It is my destiny.”

The video shows a cartoon animation of a stick-figure man -- who resembles Crimo -- in tactical gear carrying out an attack with a rifle. 

In another video titled “Toy Soldier,” a similar stick-figure cartoon character resembling Crimo is depicted lying face down on the floor in a pool of his own blood, surrounded by police officers with their guns drawn.

Crimo, who calls himself “Awake the Rapper,” posted his music on several major streaming outlets and on a personal website. The Facebook and Twitter accounts believed to belong to Crimo were taken down after he was named as a person of interest in the mass shooting that killed at least six people. His Facebook profile photo showed him wearing a helmet with a camera mount, a face cover and a multicolored jacket.

On September 24, he posted a video on Twitter that shows him sitting on a set resembling a classroom, wearing a helmet and posing in various scenes while an instrumental arrangement of “When Johnny Comes Marching Home” plays in the background.

He had not posted on Twitter since October 26, 2021, when he wrote, “I am not a robot."

In yet another music video for a song titled “On My Mind,” Crimo performs in a classroom set filled with desks, lockers and chalkboards. In the last minute of the video, the viewers see a shot of Crimo reaching into his backpack before the music abruptly cuts. Then, Crimo is seen wearing a helmet and a tactical vest, dropping bullets onto the floor of the classroom, with the music from a popular shooting video game, "Call of Duty," playing over the scene. 

The videos appear to have been posted online last year.

12:05 a.m. ET, July 5, 2022

"It was sickening": Highland Park residents describe scene at parade

From CNN's Jason Hanna, Adrienne Broaddus, Eric Levenson and Susannah Cullinane

Miles Zaremski, a Highland Park, Illinois, resident, told CNN he was walking to the Fourth of July parade when he heard a "pop" and thought that maybe a car backfired.

"And then there were multiple pops," he told CNN's Katilan Collins. "I'd say I heard maybe, and I'm guessing, about 30 pops. There was a pause in between, a set of pops, and then a second set of pops. And then the crowd that was on either side of [Central Ave.] started rushing, a stampede like, going west, which is against me," he explained.

He added, "It was sickening. It was just chaotic and I'm not going to get into the politics of gun control, but if it can happen in a suburb like Highland Park, which is loving and peaceful and a Chicago suburb, not only can it happen in churches and synagogues and schools, but it can happen in any community."

Jeff Leon, 57, told CNN on Monday he heard what he believes were gunshots ring out minutes into the start of the parade.

Leon said the shot sounded like "firecrackers in a garbage can," and it wasn't until he saw police officers reacting, that he knew anything had happened.

Zoe Pawelczak said many parade-goers initially thought the array of pops were fireworks given the occasion.

"And I was like, something's wrong. I grabbed my dad and started running. All of a sudden everyone behind us started running," she said. "I looked back probably 20 feet away from me. I saw a girl shot and killed," she said.

Pawelczak and her father hid behind a dumpster for about an hour until police moved them into a sporting goods store, she said, and then eventually escorted them back to their car. She saw one person who had been shot in the ear and had blood all over his face, and another girl who was shot in the leg, she said.

"It looked like a battle zone, and it's disgusting. It's really disgusting," she said.

Read more about what witnesses saw here:

CNN's Shawn Nottingham, Brynn Gingras, Sarah Moon and Dakin Andone contributed to this post.

12:06 a.m. ET, July 5, 2022

Illinois senator touts new gun legislation, says more needs to be done

From CNN's Jamiel Lynch

Monday's deadly shooting was an American tragedy, Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin said during a visit to Highland Park.

“What happened at the parade and all the poor victims and those who were killed in the process breaks my heart," he said.

Durbin, the Senate majority whip, touted the recently passed bipartisan gun bill as an important step, but said there are things it didn't address.

“There is no reason for a person to own a military assault weapon. It has no value for hunting, or sports or even self-defense,” he said. "It is a killing machine."

He said he was on vacation and drove seven hours to get to Highland Park as soon as he heard about the shooting.

"The stories already coming out and some of them are just things that we’ll never forget. What happened to these wonderful people who were just simply bringing their families out to watch a Fourth of July parade. What an American day. What an American experience. And what an American tragedy followed," he said.

The senator said it was a day people will remember for a long time.

After praising the efforts of first responders, Durbin said: "It was the best of America with those (emergency responders) that I just described, it was the worst of America that a man took a rifle -- a high velocity rifle -- and turned it on innocent people and ruined lives and ruined many families in many ways."

Durbin also urged people to vote in elections.

"If you’re sick and tired of that and think that’s not what America should be all about, elect people who feel like you do,” he said.