highland park parade shooting

Person of Interest in Custody Following Highland Park Parade Mass Shooting: Police

Police said a 21-year-old was taken into custody following a police pursuit that ended in north suburban Lake Forest

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A person of interest wanted in connection with a mass shooting at the Highland Park Independence Day parade is in custody, police announced Monday evening.

He was detained roughly two hours after police identified the 21-year-old wanted in connection with the shooting that left at least six people dead and dozens of others injured.

He was taken into custody following a police pursuit that ended in north suburban Lake Forest.

Authorities said the man's car was located in North Chicago and officers attempted to stop him but he led police on a brief pursuit before coming to a stop. He was taken into custody "without incident," police said. He was being taken to the Highland Park Police Department for questioning, but no charges had been filed as of 6:50 p.m.

Robert "Bobby" E Crimo III, who police said is from the area, was believed to be driving a 2010 silver Honda Fit with the Illinois license plates DM80653. Video from NBC's Sky 5 chopper showed a vehicle of that make and model stopped at an intersection in Lake Forest with visible damage.

A heavy police and SWAT presence was seen hours earlier in an area where he is believed to have lived, according to footage captured by NBC 5 in Highland Park.

The suspected gunman in the mass shooting was described by Highland Park police as a white man with a small build and "longer" black hair. He is wearing a white or blue T-shirt, according to Highland Park Police Cmdr. Chris O'Neill.

The shooting happened at 10:14 a.m. in the area of Central Avenue and 2nd Street in downtown Highland Park during the city's Fourth of July parade, authorities said.

Covelli said the gunman shot into the parade with a high-powered rifle from a rooftop.

"All indications is he was discreet, and he was very difficult to see," Covelli said.

In separate social media videos, several gunshots could be heard, followed by a pause and another round of gunfire. In some videos, more than 50 shots are heard.

Larry Bloom, who was in the area when shots began, said at first spectators thought the "popping" sound was part of the parade.

"You heard like a 'pop, pop, pop,' and I think everybody kinda thought maybe it was a display on one of the floats and then it just opened up," Bloom said.

"I was screaming and people were screaming," Bloom said. "They were panicking and they were just scattering and I, you know, we didn't know. You know, it was right on top of us."

Anyone with photos or video of the incident is being asked to turn them in to police.

"We're asking anybody with any video surveillance that they may have, please review your cell phones," Covelli said. "If you were snapping pictures in the area of Second and Central today, that could help investigators. They may see something in there that may be useful and allow them to proceed further with the investigation. Any business owners in that area we're asking, please, review your video surveillance. If you have any video surveillance of that area at that time, even if you don't see anything in there, we would love to be able to take a look at that so we can further our investigation."

Around 2 p.m. SWAT team members were seen escorting people from the businesses where they were sheltered in place.

Bystanders captured the moment shots were fired at the Highland Park, Illinois Fourth of July parade on TikTok.

NorthShore Highland Park Hospital said in a statement that the facility is treating 26 people, five of whom were transported to NorthShore Evanston Hospital.

"A vast majority suffered gunshot wounds and the remaining sustained injuries as a result of the ensuing chaos at the parade," NorthShore Highland Park Hospital said.

Those who are looking to reunite with family members after the parade are being asked to head to the Highland Park Reunification Center at the Highland Park Police Department at 1677 Old Deerfield Road.

Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker asked for prayers for the families of the deceased and for those who were injured in the shooting.

"There are no words for the kind of monster who lies in wait and fires into a crowd of families with children celebrating a holiday with their community," Pritzker said in a statement. "There are no words for the kind of evil that robs our neighbors of their hopes, their dreams, their futures. There are no words I can offer to lift the pain of those they leave behind. Please know that our state grieves with you, that MK and I grieve with you."

Dr. David Baum, who attended the parade, helped treat those who were injured in the shooting.

"The bodies that I saw, it was not an image that anyone who's not a physician would have an easy time processing," said Dr. Baum.

"There were people who were immediately killed with horrific gunshot wounds."

A large police presence from the state and neighboring suburban Chicago departments was seen along the parade route.

"This is an active incident," the city of Highland Park wrote in a statement. "All individuals are advised to shelter in place. Law enforcement agencies are searching for the suspect; evidence of a firearm has been recovered. Numerous law enforcement officers are responding and have secured a perimeter around downtown Highland Park."

Independence Day parades and events across the north suburbs were canceled following the shooting.

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