US police have arrested a suspect after six people were killed at an Independence Day parade near Chicago. Police say Robert E-Crime III, age 22, was taken into custody after a brief chase.
At least 24 others were injured in the city of Highland Park, Illinois after a gunman used a high-powered rifle to target people from a rooftop. It is the latest mass shooting in the US – there has been one every week of 2022. President Joe Biden said he was “shocked” by the violence.
Mr Cremo was taken into custody after a search operation. He was referred to as a “person of interest” in Monday’s shooting, but police said they believed he was responsible after his arrest.
The gunman opened fire at around 10:15 a.m. local time (GMT 15:15 a.m.), minutes after the parade began. The event included floats, marching bands and community entertainment as part of the city’s Independence Day celebrations.
The suspect is believed to have fired at public members from the rooftop of a nearby shop, where police say they recovered “evidence of a firearm.” Five adults were killed at the scene, as well as a further victim who the local coroner said died in a nearby hospital.
“We went to have a nice family day out – and then suddenly all this gunfire happens,” said Anand P, who was there during the parade. “At the time, I wanted to believe it was a car backfiring. Then people started running – so we start running.”
“About 30 people suddenly came rushing in screaming, and we were locked into the Starbucks bathroom,” Mr Hara said.
“Moments later, they evacuated us from the Starbucks because they thought the shooter was trying to get in the back door.” No charges have been filed against Mr Crimo, and there is no indication of any motive.
Social media firms suspended accounts belonging to Mr Crimo, who posted rap videos under an alias. The attack in Highland Park comes just a month after deadly shootings in Uvalde, Texas and Buffalo, New York.
Illinois Governor Jay Robert Pritzker warned that mass shootings were becoming an “American tradition”.
“There will be people who say that today is not the day, now is not the time to talk about guns. I’m telling you there is no better day and time than right here and right now,” the Democratic governor said.
President Biden vowed to keep fighting “the epidemic of gun violence” in the country.
“I’m not going to give up,” he said, speaking outside the White House in Washington DC. Last week, the president signed the first significant federal bill on gun safety in nearly 30 years.
It imposes stricter checks on young buyers and encourages states to remove guns from people considered a threat – but critics say the measures don’t go far enough.