Follow the latest news on the Illinois Fourth of July parade shooting here and read more about today’s developments in the posts below.
Vice President Kamala Harris visited the scene of the Highland Park, Illinois, mass shooting on Tuesday evening, expressing in remarks to reporters her support for the community and urging the country to "stand together and speak out" about why gun violence has to stop.
"We're here for you and we stand with you. And of course, as we always say, because it is true, our prayers are with you. The President and I and our administration have put all the resources and will continue to put all the resources that the mayor, and the chief, and others need in terms of the federal assistance," Harris said.
"There's a lot of healing that's gonna have to happen, that is both physical and emotional. There is no question that this experience is something that is gonna linger in terms of the trauma. And so I'd like to urge all the families and all the individuals to do — seek the support that you so rightly to serve," Harris continued.
Harris also used a portion of her remarks to address gun safety in the United States.
"We've got to be smarter as a country, in terms of who has access to what, and in particular, assault weapons. And we've got to take this stuff seriously, as seriously as you are, because you have been forced to have to take this seriously," she said.
"The whole nation should understand and have a level of empathy to understand that this can happen anywhere, in any peace loving community. And we should stand together and speak out about why it's gotta stop," Harris continued.
Harris was accompanied on her visit by Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering, Rep. Brad Schneider, a Democrat who represents the 10th District in Illinois, and state Sen. Julie Morrison, according to the press pool traveling with her Tuesday.
More on the vice president's Illinois visit: During a call Tuesday morning, Rotering invited the vice president to join her in Highland Park following Harris' speech to the National Education Association.
Harris delivered remarks earlier on Tuesday in Chicago, just miles from Highland Park, and pointedly told Congress to "have the courage" to act on an assault weapons ban and to "stop protecting" gun manufacturers.
"Yesterday, it should have been a day to come together with family and friends to celebrate our nation's independence and instead, that community suffered a violent tragedy," Harris said in remarks to the National Education Association on Tuesday.
"We need to stop this violence," she said.
"You know, I've said it before. Enough is enough," she said forcefully. "I mean, here we are, our nation is still mourning the loss of those 19 babies and their two teachers in Uvalde."
CNN's Mary Kay Mallonee contributed reporting to this post.
In September 2019, Illinois State Police (ISP) received a "Clear and Present Danger report” from the Highland Park Police Department regarding threats Highland Park shooting suspect Robert “Bobby” Crimo III allegedly made against family members, the agency said in a statement Tuesday.
The agency added that they didn’t make any arrests at the time due to a lack of charges or further evidence of threats.
According to ISP, family members were not willing to file a complaint and no further information about additional threats or mental health issues was shared.
Because Crimo didn’t have an active Firearm Owners Identification (FOID) card or a pending request for one at the time, police decided "involvement with the matter was concluded."
In December 2019, when Crimo was 19 years old, he applied for a FOID card that was sponsored by his father, ISD says.
“The subject was under 21 and the application was sponsored by the subject’s father. Therefore, at the time of FOID application review in January of 2020, there was insufficient basis to establish a clear and present danger and deny the FOID application.”
Stephen Straus, an 88-year-old man identified by authorities as one of the seven victims killed in the Highland Park, Illinois, July Fourth parade mass shooting, was described by his family as good humored and full of life.
Straus’ grandsons told CNN on Tuesday they had a close relationship with their grandfather who they saw almost every Sunday for weekly family dinners.
"He was very active, he enjoyed life," Maxwell Straus, 18, told CNN. "He attended music festivals, loved to get outside, and biked into his 80s."
Maxwell Straus said that his grandfather mentioned he was going to the parade during a recent dinner. "He was very excited," Maxwell Straus recalled.
When news about the shooting surfaced, Maxwell's father, Jonathan Straus, grew very worried after Stephen failed to answer his phone.
A few hours later, the hospital called to confirm his death.
"It was shocking, hard to imagine," Maxwell said.
Tobias Straus, 20, told CNN that hearing the news of his grandfather's death was the "the worst thing imaginable to happen.”
"He had a lot of life left in him, he was not ready to go by any means,” Tobias added. "This just doesn't happen in other places, and I have no doubt that if America had better gun control my grandfather would be alive.”
"The gun lobby and America's cultural worship of guns is deadly. It kills grandfathers," he added.
What was supposed to be a day of national celebration turned into a day of tragedy and fear when a gunman killed seven people and injured dozens of others at a July Fourth parade in Highland Park, Illinois.
Now, yet another community in America is grieving the loss of family and friends: Among them, the parents of a 2-year-old boy.
Irina and Kevin McCarthy, who were killed in the shooting, are the parents of a toddler who was found alive after the parade shooting, according to a family member.
Irina Colon, who was related to Irina McCarthy, shared an undated photo with CNN of the couple at their wedding in Chicago.
Colon said she was not at the parade and found out about the couple's death from Irina McCarthy's father. The couple's 2-year-old son, Aiden, will now be cared for by family members, Colon said.
A verified GoFundMe campaign that Colon began said that in the aftermath of the violence, the young child was taken to safety by community members before his grandparents were located.
"At two years old, Aiden is left in the unthinkable position; to grow up without his parents," the campaign said. "Aiden will be cared for by his loving family and he will have a long road ahead to heal, find stability, and ultimately navigate life as an orphan. He is surrounded by a community of friends and extended family that will embrace him with love, and any means available to ensure he has everything he needs as he grows."
"On behalf of his family, and with their permission, I am establishing this fundraiser to support him and the caregivers who will be tasked with raising, caring for, and supporting Aiden as he and his support system embark on this unexpected journey," it added.
The GoFundMe page had raised more than $725,000 by Tuesday evening.
A Highland Park, Illinois, synagogue congregation official tells CNN that shooting suspect Robert E. Crimo was present at a Passover service in April at Central Avenue Synagogue.
The congregation official said Crimo did not act suspicious and left on his own.
“He didn’t look familiar, but didn’t do anything,” the congregation official told CNN.
In an earlier interview with CNN Newsroom with Ana Cabrera, Rabbi Yosef Schanowitz was asked about Crimo’s visit to his synagogue but noted he could not comment because it was an ongoing investigation.
“Well, I apologize, but I was directed by the authorities because the investigation is pending, not to talk [about] this item at the moment,” the Rabbi said.
Today, law enforcement told reporters they did not have any information regarding the visit and that they have not uncovered evidence to suggest the attack was religiously motivated.
Lake County State’s Attorney Eric Rinehart said that more needs to be done to prevent tragedies like the mass shooting that left at least seven people dead in Highland Park, Illinois, at a July 4th parade.
"What should have been a celebration of freedom has ended in despair for our community. All of the people who died, steps from here, lost their freedom. All of it. Every ounce of freedom that they had. The freedom to love, the freedom to learn and the freedom to live a full life.Their freedom matters too. We must do more, as we think and reflect on their freedom on this July 5," Rinehart said during a news conference Tuesday evening.
Rinehart highlighted the need to raise more awareness for the Illinois Firearm Restraining Order, a red flag law.
"The goal of this tool is to ensure the safety of the individual and those around him. It allows courts to temporarily remove guns and prevent the purchase of new guns by individuals who pose a significant risk," he explained.
Rinehart also called for a ban on assault weapons in "Illinois and beyond."
"As we go forward in the courtroom and in the community, we must do everything we can to make sure that the horror that marked these streets, that echoed from these buildings never happens again," he said.
The Highland Park, Illinois, shooting suspect, Robert E. Crimo III, has been charged with seven counts of first-degree murder, Lake County State’s Attorney Eric Rinehart announced.
Rinehart said he anticipates more charges in the future.
"We anticipate dozens of more charges centering around each of the victims," he said in a news conference.
If Crimo is convicted on these seven charges, it will lead to a mandatory life sentence without the possibility of parole, Rinehart said. The official said that they will ask the judge tomorrow to hold Crimo "without the possibility of bail."
"In the courtroom, we will seek the maximum sentence against this offender. Not because we seek vengeance, but because justice and the healing process demand it," Rinehart said.
At least seven people were killed in the Monday shooting and dozens were injured.
Speaking in Chicago, just miles from Highland Park, Vice President Kamala Harris pointedly told Congress to “have the courage” to act on an assault weapon ban and to “stop protecting” gun manufacturers.
“Yesterday, it should have been a day to come together with family and friends to celebrate our nation's independence and instead, that community suffered a violent tragedy,” Harris said in remarks to the National Education Association on Tuesday.
“We need to stop this violence,” she said.
“You know, I’ve said it before. Enough is enough!,” she said, her voice rising to applause from the group. “I mean, here we are, our nation is still mourning the loss of those 19 babies and their two teachers in Uvalde.”
She called the Uvalde shooting a “massacre” that served as “the most recent reminder in evolving of the risks that our children and our educators face every day.”
“Teachers should not have to practice barricading a classroom. Teachers should not have to know how to treat a gunshot wound. And teachers should not be told that lives would have been saved if only you had a gun,” Harris said.
Last month, President Biden signed into law a bipartisan gun safety measure that Harris called “progress,” but she said the country still has “to do more.”
“Congress needs to have the courage to act and renew the assault weapons ban,” Harris said. “An assault weapon is designed to kill a lot of human beings quickly. There is no reason that we have weapons of war on the streets of America. We need reasonable gun safety laws.”
She added that Congress needs to stop “protecting those gun manufacturers with the liability shield.”
“We cannot give up this fight. We will not tire. Because I know who you are,” she told the crowd. “That is just not in our nature.”
Harris’ comments came after Biden offered a fairly muted response to the shooting during the White House Independence Day celebration.
“You all heard what happened today. But each day, we're reminded there's nothing guaranteed about our democracy, nothing guaranteed about our way of life,” he said during an initial appearance at the BBQ.
Later, Biden held a moment of silence for the victims during the entertainment portion of the event.
On Tuesday, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was asked about Biden’s brief comments and her characterization that he had spoken “forcefully.” She said there had been “many times the President has spoken forcefully, urgently about a moment that that currently exists in our country, which is a gun violence epidemic.”
“To say that this President has not shown urgency, it's just false,” she added.