Follow the latest news on the Highland Park, Illinois, Fourth of July parade shooting here and read more about today’s developments in the posts below.
The community of Highland Park, Illinois, is coming together after a mass shooting that killed seven people at a Fourth of July parade on Monday. Here's what they are saying about how their life has changed:
Zeller, 45, returned to the scene of the mass shooting for the first time Wednesday, two days after he, his wife, his parents and his kids fled for their lives. His children, aged 9 and 12, were separated from the adults during the chaos of the shooting, and Zeller’s memory of what exactly he did in that time was foggy.
“I don’t remember all of it. Panic set in. I wasn’t sure where my children were. I was told there was another set of shots. I don’t remember it,” he said.
Once the shooting stopped, he got a call from a family friend who was with his child, and then a text from a friend for his other child. They both were safe.
Zeller has lived in Highland Park for about six years, lured by the good schools, proximity to the botanic gardens and lakefront and public parks. The safety, too, though he’s not sure about that now.
“Nowhere is safe I guess,” he said. “As long as there are violent, angry people with access to military-style weaponry, you’re not safe anywhere. I don’t think I’m any less safe, but it’s hard not to feel that way. You know what I mean?”
She has always had trouble sleeping at night, but now Jenn says she can’t sleep at all after hearing the “pop pop pop” of the gunman’s rifle at the parade on Monday.
“That’s all I hear,” she said. “It’s an eerie thing. Once you experience it, you’ll never forget it.”
Jenn, a city girl who has lived in New York and Chicago, has been renting a home in suburban Highland Park for 18 years. She recently considered moving back to Chicago, but decided against it due to concerns about safety.
“I wanted the freedom to be able to walk anywhere I wanted without the fear somebody was going to grab my person or accost me,” she said.
Instead of moving, she bought her longtime rental. The purchase closed last Wednesday — fortuitous timing, she said.
“We kind of took it for granted here that everything is going to be safe,” she said. “I used to live in Chicago for a while. You always locked your doors. Up here it’s different, the culture is a little different. For a long time, this was considered a bastion of safety. It doesn’t seem to be that way now.”
A child that was injured in Monday’s mass shooting in Highland Park is currently in critical but stable condition.
“UChicago Medicine Comer Children’s Hospital received one patient who remains in critical, but stable condition,” the hospital tells CNN.
Yesterday, NorthShore University Health System spokesman Jim Anthony said in a statement that “One patient (an 8-year-old boy) was transported to University of Chicago Comer Children’s Hospital.”
Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering told CNN on Wednesday that it is important that Robert E. Crimo face justice for terrorizing her community.
“It’s vitally important. And, as I said at the beginning of this tragedy, I was seriously hoping he was alive because he needs to pay a full price for what he’s done to our hometown,” the mayor said.
The mayor said this act of violence can happen in any city and said a lot needs to be done to fix this situation.
She said, “this is no way for people to live, this is not what freedom is about.”
When the mayor was asked what a guilty plea would mean for the people of Highland Park, Rotering said, “I think for people to hear that would give them a sense of closure, but frankly it’s going to take us a very long time to heal from this.”
The state filed a written petition for no bail and said they would seek a conviction with a sentence of life in prison. Lake County State's Attorney Eric Rinehart said a conviction would result in a sentence of life imprisonment without parole, but more charges could be filed in the future.
The shooter admitted he carried out the attack, prosecutors said in court Wednesday. Crimo told authorities in a voluntary statement that he "looked down his sights, aimed and opened fire" on paradegoers, emptying two 30-round magazines before loading his weapon with a third and firing again, Lake County Assistant State's Attorney Ben Dillon alleged during a virtual bail hearing.
Crimo, who appeared at the virtual hearing wearing black, was appointed a public defender and is due in court again July 28.
Here are other key developments from the investigation:
Parade shooter "seriously contemplated" carrying out second attack in another city, police say: Law enforcement said that the gunman considered carrying out another attack in Madison, Wisconsin, with an additional weapon he had in his car. "Investigators did develop some information that it appears when he drove to Madison, he was driving around, however, he did see a celebration that was occurring in Madison, and he seriously contemplated using the firearm he had in his vehicle to commit another shooting in Madison," said Christopher Covelli of the Lake County Sheriff's Office. The shooter had approximately 60 rounds of ammunition in his car, Covelli said.
Shooter's cell phone was recovered: According to Covelli, the shooter's cell phone — which was dumped in Middleton, Wisconsin — was recovered by the FBI on Tuesday and is being processed now. Covelli said he didn’t want to speculate on the shooter's motives, saying, “his motivation isn't necessarily clear.” “I don't want to go specifically into what he told investigators, however, he had some type of affinity towards the number four and seven and inverse was seven, four,” the deputy chief said. According to Covelli, the shooter's affinity “comes from music that he's interested in.”
FBI told Madison, Wisconsin, police chief that gunman could be in the area after parade shooting: Madison, Wisconsin, Police Chief Shon Barnes said the FBI alerted them that the shooter could be in the area on Monday afternoon. “On Monday, July 4 at approximately 5 p.m. the FBI contacted the Madison Police Department and requested mobilization of our SWAT team. They believed the suspect could be in the Madison area," he said in a news conference Wednesday. Barnes said that even after Crimo was taken into custody, the FBI was still looking for information in Wisconsin.
State prosecutor says "many more charges" to come against Highland Park shooter: Rinehart, who is handling the state's case against the Highland Park shooter, said Wednesday that he anticipates that Crimo will face "many more charges." Rinehart said, "Yesterday, I referred to the fact that there were additional charges, many more charges against this defendant because so many people were hurt. For each individual that was hurt, people can anticipate an attempted murder charge as well as an aggravated battery with a firearm charge." Rinehart noted that all of those charges are felonies that carry "serious prison time associated with them." Rinehart said that he anticipated that those additional charges will be filed later this month.
FBI director says federal charges are possible: FBI Director Christopher Wray said Wednesday that federal charges could be brought in the parade shooting. "If the facts gathered end up supporting a federal prosecution, then we will work with the US attorney’s office to pursue prosecution on the federal side as well," Wray said while speaking at an event in London on Chinese espionage and hacking. Wray, who noted that state charges have been brought against the suspect, said the bureau has been assisting local and state authorities investigating the mass shooting. The bureau is providing help with crime scene and evidence collection, and victims assistance experts to help those affected by the attack.
Seventh victim of Highland Park mass shooting identified: The seventh victim of the mass shooting was identified by the Cook County Medical Examiner as 69-year-old Eduardo Uvaldo of Waukegan, Illinois. Uvaldo "was pronounced dead today at 7:47 a.m. at Evanston Hospital. An autopsy will be performed in the coming days," said a press release from the medical examiner. Six of the dead had been identified by the Lake County Coroner, and one by Cook County Medical Examiner.
CNN’s Travis Caldwell, Jason Hanna and Dakin Andone, Rebekah Riess, Evan Perez and Melissa Alonso contributed to this report.
Madison, Wisconsin, Police Chief Shon Barnes said the FBI alerted them that Robert E. Crimo II, the man accused of killing at least seven people at a 4th of July parade in Illinois, could be in the area on Monday afternoon.
On Wednesday, authorities said that Crimo went to Madison after the mass shooting in Highland Park and contemplated another attack.
“On Monday, July 4 at approximately 5 p.m. the FBI contacted the Madison Police Department and requested mobilization of our SWAT team. They believed the suspect could be in the Madison area. Our SWAT team began the process of mobilization and staging when we were subsequently informed that the suspect was already in custody in Illinois," Barnes said at a news conference on Wednesday.
He said even after Crimo was taken into custody, the FBI was still looking for information in Wisconsin. Barnes said Crimo's cellphone was found in the nearby town of Middleton.
Barnes went on to say “according to authorities in Highland Park, the suspect observed the celebration here in Madison and decided not to attack the celebration for reasons undisclosed by the investigators.”
The chief noted that the authorities did not say where the suspect observed this celebration.
Security camera footage shows parade spectators rush into the Gearhead Outfitters store in Highland Park, Illinois, to seek shelter after a gunman opened fire from the roof of a nearby building on Monday.
The store, located on the corner of Central Avenue and 2nd Street, was on the 4th of July parade route, across the street from the building that authorities say the shooter used.
The video shows a handful of people milling around in the store just before people rush into the building. A woman falls to the ground and has to put her shoe back on as people rush past her. A man helps her get up and move away from the entrance.
Another woman enters the store on her hands and knees — using her body to shield a child crawling underneath her.
A man, identified as store manager Tony Brosio, can be seen directing people into the store and takes some of them into a room off-camera.
Brosio can also be seen urging people to get away from the doors as they come inside.
The owner of the chain of stores, Ted Herget, who lives in Jonesboro, Arkansas, told CNN that Brosio led some of the people to the basement where they keep a lot of the store’s inventory.
Herget and his wife bought the Highland Park location company in 2019. Herget said that he was proud of Brosio for keeping the store open and rushing to help so many people.
“I hope I would be able to do the same thing. I mean, I just watched that video, and I'm hoping I would be that guy,” Herget said.
Brosio’s wife, Abby, and his father were wounded in the shooting, Herget said, but are doing okay physically.
Herget said his company is arranging to provide grief counselors for his employees and said they would need to think about security protocols at the chain’s stores.
“We’re more on the emotional side of this right now. Making sure these kids have got what they need to heal throughout this,” Herget said.
He said it was inspiring to see Brosio’s instincts kick in and help people during the crisis.
“I’m so grateful, so proud,” Herget said. “I can’t wait to give that dude a big old hug.”
The company said in a statement that the store will remain closed for now, to allow employees time to heal.
“We are so thankful to the first responders who acted quickly to help keep everyone safe. We are also so proud of our Highland Park team for acting quickly to welcome people in for protection. Their actions were truly heroic and in the midst of tragedy we can find peace in our community coming together to support one another,” the company said in a statement.
The mayor of Madison, Wisconsin, is reacting to the recent news that Highland Park shooter Robert E. Crimo III traveled to the city and contemplated an attack in the area.
“Today’s news that the suspected shooter traveled to Madison and contemplated violence here is deeply disturbing and only underscores the fact that we need a national approach to dealing with gun violence. Weapons of war have no place in our communities. While I appreciate the bipartisan agreement reached last week, Congress must pass common sense gun safety laws to protect our communities. Assault weapons and large-capacity magazines must be banned,” Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway said in a statement.
The statement said Americans should not have to live in fear of gun violence in their communities and schools.
“Here in Madison — and in cities across the country — we are doing what we can to control illegal guns, hold people accountable for gun violence and invest in violence interruption and prevention. But we cannot do this alone. We need Congress to do its job and protect our communities,” the mayor said.
Karen Abrams, 67, has for decades claimed a spot for Highland Park’s July 4 parade outside Ross’s on the corner of 2nd St. and Central Ave. — the same location where the gunman opened fire on Monday.
But she wasn’t there this year. Instead, she set up her lawn chairs a couple of blocks east, a difference of about 500 feet that allowed her to flee the area when the gunshots began.
“My kids were really devastated because normally, for 27 or 28 years, we were right there where the shooter was. Yesterday morning they said, ‘What made you move mom?’” she said. “Well, I went out at 7 in the morning to put all my chairs down and they were already taken. My decision was — God works in mysterious ways.”
Though she wasn’t physically hurt, Abrams was scarred by what she saw.
“There were people walking with blood all over them. I stopped one man and asked if he was OK, and he said, ‘It’s not my blood, but I’ll never be OK again.’ There was a woman out here standing on the corner screaming her kid’s name. She couldn’t find her child," she said.
On Wednesday, Abrams wore a shirt saying “Highland Park Strong” and spoke to CNN from a Veteran’s Memorial Park that has become a memorial to the shooting victims. With tears in her eyes, she said the shooting had changed her home of 42 years.
“What this did to me and for me was take away my peace, take away the fact that my grandchildren and children can live in a community like this that’s safe, so whatever I can do to make a statement is what I’m going to do,” she said. “I’ve got to do something to help change the laws. I don’t know how I’m going to do it, I haven’t quite figured that out yet, but I will. You’ll see.”