A gunman on a rooftop opened fire on an Independence Day parade in suburban Chicago on Monday, killing at least six people, wounding at least 30 and sending hundreds of marchers, parents with strollers and children on bicycles fleeing in terror, police said. Authorities said a man named as a person of interest in the shooting was taken into police custody Monday evening after an hourslong manhunt in and around Highland Park, an affluent community of about 30,000 on Chicago’s north shore. The July 4 shooting was just the latest to shatter the rituals of American life. Schools, churches, grocery stores and now community parades have all become killing grounds in recent months. This time, the bloodshed came as the nation tried to find cause to celebrate its founding and the bonds that still hold it together. "It is devastating that a celebration of America was ripped apart by our uniquely American plague,” Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker said at a news conference. Also read: 3 dead, 3 critically wounded in shooting at Denmark mall “I’m furious because it does not have to be this way... while we celebrate the Fourth of July just once a year, mass shootings have become a weekly — yes, weekly — American tradition." 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. Dozens of fired bullets sent hundreds of parade-goers — some visibly bloodied — fleeing. They left a trail of abandoned items that showed everyday life suddenly, violently disrupted: A half-eaten bag of potato chips; a box of chocolate cookies spilled onto the grass; a child’s Chicago Cubs cap. “There’s no safe place,” said Highland Park resident Barbara Harte, 73, who had stayed away from the parade fearing a mass shooting, but later ventured from her home. Highland Park Police Chief Lou Jogmen said a police officer pulled over Robert E. Crimo III about five miles north of the shooting scene, several hours after police released the man's photo and an image of his silver Honda Fit, and warned the public that he was likely armed and dangerous. Authorities initially said he was 22, but an FBI bulletin and Crimo's social media said he was 21. Police declined to immediately identify Crimo as a suspect but said identifying him as a person of interest, sharing his name and other information publicly was a serious step. Lake County Major Crime Task Force spokesman Christopher Covelli said at a news conference “several of the deceased victims” died at the scene and one was taken to a hospital and died there. Police have not released details about the victims or wounded. Also read: Police: Shooting in Newark wounds 9; all expected to survive Lake County Coroner Jennifer Banek said the five people killed at the parade were adults, but didn’t have information on the sixth victim who was taken to a hospital and died there. One of those killed was a Mexican national, Roberto Velasco, Mexico’s director for North American affairs, said on Twitter Monday. He said two other Mexicans were wounded. NorthShore University Health Center received 26 patients after the attack. All but one had gunshot wounds, said Dr. Brigham Temple, medical director of emergency preparedness. Their ages ranged from 8 to 85, and Temple estimated that four or five patients were children. Temple said 19 of them were treated and discharged. Others were transferred to other hospitals, while two patients, in stable condition, remained at the Highland Park hospital. The shooter opened fire around 10:15 a.m., when the parade was about three-quarters through, authorities said. Highland Park Police Commander Chris O’Neill, the incident commander on scene, said the gunman apparently used a “high-powered rifle” to fire from a spot atop a commercial building where he was “very difficult to see.” He said the rifle was recovered at the scene. Police also found a ladder attached to the building. “Very random, very intentional and a very sad day,” Covelli said. President Joe Biden on Monday said he and first lady Jill Biden were “shocked by the senseless gun violence that has yet again brought grief to an American community on this Independence Day.” Biden signed the widest-ranging gun violence bill passed by Congress in decades, a compromise that showed at once both progress on a long-intractable issue and the deep-seated partisan divide that persists. As a word of an arrest spread, residents who had hunkered in homes began venturing outside, some walking toward where the shooting occurred. Several people stood and stared at the scene, with abandoned picnic blankets, hundreds of lawn chairs and backpacks still where they were when the shooting began. Sunday evening, Ron Tuazon and a friend were picking up chairs, blankets and a child’s bike that they had abandoned. “Everyone’s pretty shaken…. It definitely hits a lot harder when it’s not only your hometown but it’s also right in front of you. Police believe there was only one shooter but warned that he should still be considered armed and dangerous. Several nearby cities canceled events including parades and fireworks, some of them noting that the Highland Park shooter was still at large. The Chicago White Sox also announced on Twitter that a planned post-game fireworks show is canceled due to the shooting. More than 100 law enforcement officers were called to the parade scene or dispatched to find the suspected shooter. More than a dozen police officers on Monday surrounded a home listed as an address for Crimo in Highland Park. Some officers held rifles as they fixed their eyes on the home. Police blockaded roads leading to the home in a tree-lined neighborhood near a golf course, allowing only select law enforcement cars through a tight outer perimeter. Crimo, who goes by the name Bobby, was an aspiring rapper with the stage name Awake the Rapper, posting on social media dozens videos and songs, some ominous and violent. In one animated video since taken down by YouTube, Crimo raps about armies “walking in darkness” as a drawing appears of a man pointing a rifle, a body on the ground and another figure with hands up in the distance. A later frame shows a close-up of a chest with blood pouring out and another of police cars arriving as the shooter holds his hands up. In another video, in which Crimo appears in a classroom wearing a black bicycle helmet, he says he is “like a sleepwalker… I know what I have to do,” then adds, Everything has led up to this. Nothing can stop me, even myself.” Crimo’s father, Bob, a longtime deli owner, ran unsuccessfully for mayor of Highland Park in 2019, calling himself “a person for the people.” Highland Park is a close-knit community of about 30,000 people located on the shores of Lake Michigan just north of Chicago, with mansions and sprawling lakeside estates that have long drawn the rich and sometimes famous, including NBA legend Michael Jordan, who lived in the city for years when he played for the Chicago Bulls. John Hughes filmed parts of several movies in the city, including “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” “Sixteen Candles” and “Weird Science.” Ominous signs of a joyous event suddenly turned to horror filled both sides of Central Avenue where the shooting occurred. Dozens of baby strollers — some bearing American flags, abandoned children’s bikes and a helmet bedecked with images of Cinderella were left behind. Blankets, lawn chairs, coffees and water bottles were knocked over as people fled. Gina Troiani and her son were lined up with his daycare class ready to walk onto the parade route when she heard a loud sound that she believed was fireworks — until she heard people yell about a shooter. In a video that Troiani shot on her phone, some of the kids are visibly startled at the loud noise, and they scramble to the side of the road as a siren wails nearby. “We just start running in the opposite direction,” she told The Associated Press. Her 5-year-old son was riding his bike decorated with red and blue curled ribbons. He and other children in the group held small American flags. The city said on its website that the festivities were to include a children’s bike and pet parade. Troiani said she pushed her son’s bike, running through the neighborhood to get back to their car. "It was just sort of chaos,” she said. “There were people that got separated from their families, looking for them. Others just dropped their wagons, grabbed their kids and started running.” Debbie Glickman, a Highland Park resident, said she was on a parade float with coworkers and the group was preparing to turn onto the main route when she saw people running from the area. “People started saying: ‘There’s a shooter, there’s a shooter, there's a shooter,’” Glickman told the AP. “So we just ran. We just ran. It’s like mass chaos down there.” She didn’t hear any noises or see anyone who appeared to be injured. “I’m so freaked out,” she said. “It’s just so sad.”
A 17-year-old boy has been charged with second-degree murder after a 16-year-old boy was fatally shot near “The Bean” sculpture in downtown Chicago’s Millennium Park, which is among the city’s most popular tourist attractions. The shooting prompted a curfew at the park to combat violence. Officials announced Sunday that minors will not be allowed in the park after 6 p.m. Thursday through Sunday without an adult, but they did not comment on how the curfew will be enforced. The 17-year-old, who was taken into custody following Saturday evening's shooting, also faces charges of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon and aggravated battery, police announced Sunday night. He was due in juvenile court Monday. The 16-year-old was shot in the chest near the giant, mirrored structure and was pronounced dead at a hospital, police said. Another teen, who was allegedly armed with a ghost gun — a weapon that does not have a serial number and can’t be traced — was arrested in connection to the shooting, police said. In total, 26 minors and five adults were arrested during the gathering in the park on Saturday evening. A total of eight guns were confiscated and five gun arrests were made, police said. “We must also have zero tolerance for young people carrying firearms or settling petty disputes with acts of violence,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot said in a statement. “We all must condemn this behavior in the strongest terms possible.” READ: Man arrested in fatal shooting of student at SUNY-Potsdam Hundreds of people were at the park earlier Saturday as part of demonstrations around the U.S. against the recently leaked draft opinion that suggests the Supreme Court is prepared to overturn the nationwide right to abortion. It is unclear if the teen who was shot had taken part in the 1 p.m. demonstration, however participants had largely dispersed by late afternoon. The shooting comes amid a surge in deadly violence in the city in recent years. This year, Chicago has recorded 779 shooting incidents and 194 homicides, compared to 898 shootings and 207 homicides during the same period in 2021, according to figures last updated by the Chicago Police Department on May 8. Chicago and some other U.S. cities reported dramatic spikes in homicide totals last year. Chicago’s 797 homicides in 2021 — its highest toll for any year in a quarter century — eclipsed the totals in the two bigger U.S. cities, surpassing Los Angeles’ tally by 400 and New York's by nearly 300. “The Bean" sculpture is a popular tourist attraction in downtown Chicago. It is formally known as “Cloud Gate,” but it came to be known as “The Bean” for its bean-like shape.
Hundreds of Chicago students staged a walkout Friday, saying there weren't enough precautions in place to protect them from COVID-19 despite an agreement between the teachers union and school district to return to classrooms. The walkout at schools across the city culminated outside district offices downtown, where the students waved signs, chanted and briefly blocked traffic. READ: Panchagarh haats ordered shut following breach of Covid protocols “Hey, hey, ho, ho, Lori Lightfoot’s got to go,” they said, a reference to the Chicago mayor. The union voted last week to switch to remote instruction due to an increase in COVID-19 cases and what they said were insufficient safety measures. Administrators in the nation’s third-largest school district canceled classes for five days as a result. Lightfoot insisted in-person instruction was best for students and called the union’s action an illegal work stoppage. In-person classes resumed Wednesday after an agreement on a safety plan that includes metrics to shut down individual schools during outbreaks and expanded testing. READ: Covid protocols go for a toss at Sonahat Land Port While masks are required inside schools, the protesters said some students don't have masks or wear them inconsistently. They also want better access to COVID-19 testing and technology for remote learning. “We want online schooling and the ability to be kept safe ... while we’re trying to get an education,” student Jaden Horton said.
A 29-year-old female police officer in Chicago was killed and another officer was seriously wounded in an exchange of gunfire during a traffic stop, officials said Sunday, the city’s mayor later citing the shooting as a reason for Chicagoans to work together to stem violence. The officer killed Saturday night was identified as Ella French, according to a post on the Chicago Police Department’s Facebook page Sunday evening. French’s death was the first fatal shooting of a Chicago officer in the line of duty since 2018 and the first female officer fatally shot on the job in 33 years. Read: Pentagon on lockdown after shooting near Metro station “We will never forget the true bravery she exemplified as she laid her life down to protect others,” the department said of French on Facebook, adding that fellow officers will “grieve the loss of this hero.” The department also requested support for French’s “wounded partner, who is in the hospital fighting for his life.” At a Sunday news conference, Mayor Lori Lightfoot urged Chicagoans to end the acrimony between ardent police proponents who say officers are hampered by overly burdensome rules and staunch critics who say officers act with impunity. “Stop. Just stop,” she said. “This constant strife is not what we need in this moment.” The shooting of the officers occurred on another violent summer weekend in the nation’s third largest city, with at least 64 people shot, 10 fatally, by afternoon Sunday, ABC7 in Chicago reported. “The police are not our enemies,” Lightfoot added at the news conference. “We must come together... We have a common enemy: It’s the guns and the gangs.” Officers had stopped a vehicle with two men and a woman inside just after 9 p.m. on Chicago’s South Side, when a male passenger opened fire, Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown said during the same news conference. Read:8 dead in shooting at rail yard serving Silicon Valley Officers returned fire, striking the passenger who appeared to fire at them, said Brown. He did not release the condition of that man. All three are in custody, but no charges had been filed, he said. Police also did not identify the three who have been arrested. When asked about the condition of the injured officer, Brown responded, “Critical. We need your prayers.” The superintendent said it was too soon to say why the vehicle was stopped and what might have happened just before the shooting began. He said available evidence included police body camera footage. A gun was also recovered at the scene. A large crowd of officers gathered outside the hospital’s ambulance entrance overnight, some hugging and praying, as Lightfoot first addressed the shooting to reporters nearby. Lightfoot said the officer who died “was very young on the job, but incredibly enthusiastic to do the work.” The last Chicago officer shot to death in the line of duty was 28-year-old Samuel Jimenez, who was killed after responding to a shooting at a hospital on Nov. 19, 2018. Read:Police: 9 wounded in Providence, Rhode Island, shooting Two officers, Conrad Gary and Eduardo Marmolejo, died when they were struck by a train while pursuing a suspect on Dec. 17, 2018. The department also considers the COVID-19 deaths of four officers last year line-of-duty deaths. The last female officer shot to death in the line of duty was Irma Ruiz, who was shot inside an elementary school in 1988.
A tornado swept through communities in heavily populated suburban Chicago, damaging more than 100 homes, toppling trees, knocking out power and causing multiple injuries, officials said. There was relief Monday, though, as authorities reported that it appeared no one had died. Less than a dozen people were hurt in the tornado that touched down after 11 p.m. Sunday, and all were expected to recover. Read:Tornado clobbers African American North Nashville At least eight people were hospitalized in Naperville, where 22 homes were left “uninhabitable” and more than 130 homes were damaged in the suburb of 147,500 people that’s about 25 miles (40 kilometers) west of Chicago. Two people initially described in critical condition had improved by Monday afternoon, said Naperville Fire Chief Mark Puknaitis. “It could have been a lot worse, I will say that,” Puknaitis said. “When you look at the destruction that has occurred over this five square block area or so, it’s amazing that we can stand here and report that we only had eight people that were transported to a hospital.” Officials in the nearby village of Woodridge said a tornado damaged at least 100 structures. The village’s fire chief said three people were taken to hospitals, but he could not provide more detail on their injuries during a Monday press conference. Woodridge Police Chief Brian Cunningham said early warnings likely minimized the number of injuries. “It was a nighttime event, a lot of people were sleeping, weren’t aware of what was going on,” he said. “The early warning got people to shelter. And the fact that there’s only three people injured and the amount of devastation that’s in the community, it’s just amazing.” The storm destroyed the second floor of Bridget Casey’s Woodridge home. She sat in a lawn chair in the driveway before sunrise Monday. Her 16-year-old son, Nate, said he was watching TV when the storm swept through and he raced to help his mother get his three younger siblings to the basement. Read: Weather service: At least 6 tornadoes hit middle Tennessee “I just heard a loud crash and I’m thinking, ‘Oh, what are my brothers up to?’ I go look and I see the sky, and then I hear my brothers screaming from the room,” he told the Chicago Sun-Times. Mayor Gina Cunningham called the damage to homes and other property in the village “extensive.” “I’m just emotional because it is devastating to drive through the community that I grew up in and worked in and share with so many wonderful neighbors,” she said. The tornado was confirmed by radar, and a team with the National Weather Service began surveying damage Monday to determine its strength and path. The agency said one tornado likely caused damage in Naperville, Woodridge and Darien. “If there were no fatalities — and there haven’t been any reported to us — that’s great news considering the population of the area, the level of damage and the time of day, after 11 p.m. when many people may be asleep,” Matt Friedlein, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Romeoville, said. Radar also showed storm rotation over several other areas of suburban Chicago, and in northwestern Indiana in the Hobart and South Haven areas, Friedlein said. Read:Tornado, virus fears, machines disrupt voting in some states The weather service said surveys on Monday determined two EF1 tornadoes packing winds up to 100 mph (161 kph) struck northern Indiana’s St. Joseph and Steuben counties, damaging some barns and trees and destroying other exterior structures. Severe storms also hit other parts of the Midwest. A tornado damaged several buildings and knocked down power lines and trees in eastern Iowa on Sunday night. And in Missouri, a thunderstorm with strong winds whipped through parts of the state, knocking down trees and power lines.
The image that many Americans have of 13-year-old Adam Toledo is frozen in time: He is standing in an alley with his hands up as the gunshot that killed him is heard. This week’s release of Chicago body camera footage of the March 29 shooting was another test for news organizations weighing how much graphic material they should show now that video of police confrontations is becoming commonplace. One Chicago digital site offered its subscribers a choice to read the story with or without the video. National television outlets took similar approaches. They showed jumpy body camera footage of officer Eric Stillman chasing Toledo and ordering him to drop a gun, followed by Toledo’s empty hands being raised. The video is stopped at the moment of the fatal shot. In some depictions, like on CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360,” a second video angle from a distance shows Toledo crumpling to the ground. Some outlets also aired brief scenes of Stillman trying to revive the teen. “The news media has gotten much better at stopping the frame before someone’s last moment,” said Allissa Richardson, professor at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Southern California. “It’s finally starting to sink in that we can tell these stories without the final moment of impact.” Said “CBS This Morning” anchor Gayle King: “I don’t want to see him get shot.” Television executives recognize they have a responsibility to protect viewers from excessively disturbing footage, said Mark Whitaker, a former CNN and NBC News executive. They also recognize that most consumers, if they want to see more of the confrontation, have other options online. Also read: 8 dead in shooting at FedEx facility in Indianapolis The video was the lead story Friday on the Chicago Tribune’s website, with a headline warning of graphic content. With two clicks, visitors could see video of the entire confrontation and its gory aftermath. Block Club Chicago, a subscription-based site for local news, let customers choose to read about Toledo without access to the video or to read a second story where, with a few clicks, they could see an edited portion that ends with Toledo falling to the ground. “People have different news needs,” said Jen Sabella, co-founder and director of strategy for Block Club Chicago. “Some people are happy to read a story and move on with their day, and some people want to go a little deeper.” But it was also an approach born of Sabella’s own reaction to the video, together with the cumulative impact of the trial of former Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin bringing back images of George Floyd’s death and the separate police shooting of 20-year-old Daunte Wright in a Minneapolis suburb. “When I watched (the Chicago shooting), I felt super sick,” Sabella said. “It was a gut punch. I want people to read about that without having to see it.” Shortly after the video was released, Brian Carovillano, vice president and managing editor of The Associated Press, sent an email to staff members warning that many people who had seen it found it very upsetting. “We want to assure you that you don’t have to watch this,” Carovillano wrote. “The journalists who are managing and covering the story have what they need.” Edited portions of the video appeared on the ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts on Thursday, which together reach around 20 million people. The top-rated program, ABC’s “World News Tonight,” repeated the chase scene four times. Also read: Child among 4 dead in shooting at California office building USC’s Richardson said journalists have to think about the effect these police videos have on followers; she shields her children from them. She said she understands why showing them is necessary, particularly when the footage contradicts official reports, but she looks forward to when scenes of suffering don’t have to be aired. “I equate it with lynching photography,” she said. Danielle Kilgo, a professor of journalism, diversity and equality at the University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities, said she sees the value of videos helping to make police incidents more than he said-she said stories. She understands the reasoning behind freezing the Toledo video just before he’s shot but also worries that doing so leaves room for conspiracy theorists to thrive. News organizations in virtually all cases warned people that what they were about to see could be considered graphic or disturbing. CBS’ King, in an interview, said she worries that such warnings are becoming so routine that they are becoming white noise to viewers. “It used to be when you heard something like that, you’d say, ‘Oh, my God, what’s about to happen?’” she said. “Now you almost don’t hear it.”
Actor Jussie Smollett was indicted Tuesday for a second time on charges of lying to police about a racist and anti-gay attack he allegedly staged on himself in downtown Chicago, renewing a divisive criminal case that drew worldwide attention last year.
Nine people were killed and 14 others injured across the city of Chicago between Friday evening and Sunday midnight, according to Monday's local media reports.
The Federal Aviation Administration halted all flights in and out of Chicago's O'Hare Airport for hours Friday night due to a sprawling winter storm, which forced the closure of schools, universities and government offices as it moved across large sections of the Midwest.