July 4th Parade Shooting: Highland Park Police Take A Man Into Custody

Near an American flag-themed sunglasses, there is visible police crime tape

A 22-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of murder during a July 4th parade in Highland Park, a suburb of the US city of Chicago, police said.

Authorities said on Monday that at least six people were killed and 30 were injured in the shooting.

The Chief of Police in Highland Park announced at a press conference early Monday evening that authorities had identified a white male from the area as a “person of interest” in the shooting. 

Police also released a vehicle description and license plate number for the suspect.

According to Lake County Major Crime Task Force spokesman Christopher Covelli, authorities believe there was only one shooter, but he should still be considered armed and dangerous.

“Our community has been terrorized by a violent act that has shaken us to our core. During this difficult time, our hearts go out to the victims’ families,” Mayor Nancy Rotering of Highland Park says.

From a rooftop, the shooter opened fire on the crowd

According to Sgt. Christopher Covelli of the Lake County Major Crime Task Force, authorities had no reason to believe there was more than one shooter.

The shooter used a high-powered rifle and was on the roof of a business, according to the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. 

They allegedly gained access to the roof through an alley using an unsecured ladder attached to the building.

Highland Park Police Cmdr. Chris O’Neill said the crime scene is still active, and officials are clearing buildings in the area. People who have taken shelter are being evacuated to safety.

Witnesses describe a chaotic state, panic, and disbelief

Miles Zaremski describes how he initially mistook the gunshots for a car backfiring or fireworks.

“And then all of a sudden, the crowd … started running in a stampede fashion,” he said.

“And then I gingerly went a little bit forward, and all of a sudden I saw blood on the cement. And I see individuals in pools of blood … and I knew there was a mass shooting.”

Zaremski stated that he rushed to assist but was quickly pushed away by police and emergency personnel who arrived on the scene within moments.

“I saw the carnage, and I almost broke down,” he stated, frightened by the incidents.

The shooting was rapid and vicious

According to O’Neill, the shooter began firing around 10:14 a.m. local time. It’s unclear how many shots were fired, but several witnesses said they heard 20 or more.

Because of the parade, police and fire units were already on the scene when the incident occurred. 

O’Neill went on to say that the department has received training in rapid deployment, rapid response, and rendering aid.

President Biden says he was’shocked’

President Joe Biden, who signed a bipartisan gun safety bill just 10 days ago, issued a statement shortly after the attack.

“Jill and I are shocked by the senseless gun violence that has yet again brought grief to an American community on this Independence Day.”

The new law, he said, “includes actions that will save lives.”

The bill is the first gun-control legislation passed by Congress in nearly 30 years, and it was signed about a month after two other mass shootings shook the country.