Frightening new details are emerging as police continue to investigate a mass shooting that left seven people dead and dozens more injured during a Fourth of July parade in suburban Highland Park on Monday.
According to authorities, the 21-year-old suspect accused in the shooting is believed to have purchased his rifle legally, and fired shots from the roof of a business after climbing up a fire escape ladder Monday morning.
The investigation has revealed that the suspect fired more than 70 rounds into the crowd before dropping his rifle and fleeing the scene.
Authorities say that the suspect planned the attack for “several weeks” before the parade took place.
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“We do believe he preplanned this attack for several weeks,” Chris Covelli, spokesman for the Lake County Major Crimes Task Force, said. “He brought a high-powered rifle to this parade. He accessed the roof of a business via a fire escape ladder and began opening fire on the innocent Independence Day celebration-goers.
“The rifle was purchased in Illinois, and the information we have thus far is that it appears to have been purchased legally,” he added.
Authorities also revealed that the suspect dressed in women’s clothing during the shooting and worked to conceal his facial tattoos, and that allowed him to escape the scene in the fleeing crowds.
He then walked to his mother’s house and took her vehicle, police said.
A resident spotted the vehicle traveling on Route 41 and dialed 911, according to police. There was a brief pursuit as police tried to stop the vehicle, but ultimately it concluded with the suspect being taken into custody without further incident.
At least seven people were killed in the attack, and dozens more were injured, according to authorities.
It is believed that the suspect acted on his own, and there are no other suspects currently at-large in connection to the shooting.
Charges are still pending in the case, and the investigation remains ongoing.