Skip to content

Seats used by parade watchers are left abandoned at the scene after a mass shooting at a Fourth of July parade in Highland Park, Illinois. (Photo by Jim Vondruska, Getty Images)

Police Detain Suspected Gunman of Highland Park Parade Shooting

A 21-year-old man was detained after a manhunt for the gunman who killed six people and injured at least 30 in an attack on a holiday parade in Highland Park, Illinois, on 4 July.

Residents of the Chicago suburb gathered along the route for a local Independence Day parade on Monday morning. Some witnesses said that when the gunman opened fire on them from a rooftop at around 10:15 a.m., they thought the sound was from fireworks. But then people started grabbing their family members and running for cover.

“The shooting occurred at a spot on the parade route where many residents had staked out prime viewing points early in the day for the annual celebration,” the Associated Press reported. As parade-goers fled, they “abandoned items that showed everyday life suddenly, violently disrupted.”

Five victims were killed on the street, with the sixth dying at a nearby hospital. “Some two dozen others were injured, either by rifle fire or in the stampede away from the scene,” the Chicago Tribune reported. “The victims ranged in age from 8 to 85.”

The suspected shooter, Robert “Bobby” E. Crimo III, allegedly intentionally and indiscriminately shot at paradegoers with a high-powered rifle, which was recovered from the rooftop. The suspect “fired more than 70 rounds into the crowd of paradegoers, according to Deputy Chief Christopher Covelli,” The New York Times reported, adding that it appeared the shooter had planned the attack weeks in advance. “He was dressed in women’s clothing to allow him to blend into the crows and escape in the ensuing chaos.”

“For several hours, residents across town were urged to take shelter indoors” while law enforcement searched for the shooter, according to The Chicago Sun Times. After an eight-hour manhunt for the suspect, North Chicago police found him in his vehicle in Lake Forest, Illinois, roughly five miles from the parade route. After a brief chase, he was arrested without further incident. 

“The shooting in Highland Park was the fourth in Illinois since Friday in which at least four people were shot, according to the Gun Violence Archive,” the Times reported. “The state has among the strictest gun-safety laws—universal background checks, red flag warnings, and safe storage requirements—but is surrounded by states with fewer restrictions to gun ownership.”

The alleged gunman’s social media accounts, which included posts of gun violence, were suspended.

“No charges have been filed…and there is no indication of any motive,” BBC News reported. The suspect remains detained as a “person of interest.”

Federal agencies, including the FBI and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, are assisting in the investigation into the mass shooting.

ASIS International has resources for security professionals that can assist in site hardening for soft targets and in mitigating active shooter incidents