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Four of the other four who were killed were identified Tuesday as Katherine Goldstein, 64; Jacquelyn Sundheim, 63; Stephen Strauss, 88; and Nicolás Toledo-Zaragoza, 78. All the victims were from Highland Park except Toledo-Zaragoza, who was visiting relatives in the city of Morelos, Mexico.
Authorities have not yet identified the seventh victim.
Portraits of some of those who died began to emerge Tuesday as investigators continued to search for evidence in the shooting that killed at least seven and wounded 30.
Irina McCarthy’s childhood friend Angela Vella described McCarthy as funny, affable and “somewhat tomboyish” who still liked to dress up.
“She definitely had her own style, which I’ve always admired,” Vella said in a brief interview.
Straus, a Chicago financial adviser, was one of the first observers at the parade and attended every year, his grandchildren said.
Brothers Maxwell and Tobias Straus described his grandfather as a friendly, active man who loved walking, biking, and attending community events.
“The way he was living life, you’d think he was still middle-aged,” Maxwell Straus said in an interview.
Lake County State’s Attorney Eric Rinehart said the suspect, if convicted of first-degree murder charges, would receive a mandatory life sentence without the possibility of parole. He promised dozens more charges would be pursued.
Arrested and Charged
A spokesman for the Lake County Major Crimes Task Force said the suspected shooter, who was arrested Monday night, used a rifle “similar to an AR-15” to fire more than 70 shots from above. from a commercial building to a crowd that had gathered for the parade in Highland Park, a thriving community of about 30,000 on the shores of Lake Michigan.
A seventh victim died of his injuries on Tuesday. More than three dozen people were injured in the attack, which Covelli said the suspect had been planning for several weeks.
The assault occurred less than three years after police went to the suspect’s home following a call from a family member who said he was threatening to “kill everyone” there. Task force spokesman Christopher Covelli said police seized 16 knives, a dagger and a sword, but said there was no sign he had any weapons at the time, in September 2019.
In April 2019, police also responded to a reported suicide attempt by the suspect, Covelli said.
The suspect legally purchased the rifle used in the attack in Illinois last year, Covelli said. In all, police said, he bought five firearms, which were recovered by officers at his father’s home.
The revelation about his gun purchases is just the latest example of young men who were able to obtain weapons and carry out massacres in recent months despite glaring warning signs about their sanity and proclivity for violence.
The Illinois State Police, which issues gun owners’ licenses, said the gunman applied for a license in December 2019, when he was 19 years old. His father sponsored his application.
At the time, “there was insufficient basis to establish a clear and present danger” and deny the request, state police said in a statement.
Investigators who questioned the suspect and reviewed his social media posts did not determine a motive or find any indication that he targeted victims based on race, religion or other protected status, Covelli said.
Earlier in the day, FBI agents looked inside trash cans and under picnic blankets as they searched the scene for more evidence. The shots were initially mistaken for fireworks before hundreds of revelers fled in terror.
A day later, baby strollers, lawn chairs and other items left behind by panicked parade-goers remained within a wide police perimeter. Outside the police tape, some neighbors came to collect blankets and chairs that had been abandoned.
David Shapiro, 47, said the gunshots quickly turned the parade into “chaos.”
“People didn’t immediately know where the shots were coming from, if the gunman was in front of you or behind you chasing you,” he said Tuesday as he retrieved a stroller and lawn chairs.
The gunman initially evaded capture by dressing as a woman and blending in with the fleeing crowd, Covelli said.
The shooting was just the latest to break the rituals of American life. Schools, churches, grocery stores, and now community parades have become killing fields in recent months. This time, the bloodshed came as the nation tried to celebrate its founding and the ties that still hold it together.
A police officer stopped 21-year-old Robert E. Crimo III north of the scene of the shooting several hours after police released his photo and warned he was likely armed and dangerous, the Highland police chief said. Park, Lou Jogman.
His father, Bob, a longtime deli owner, ran for mayor in 2019. The candidate who won that race, incumbent Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering, said she knew Crimo as a child in Cub Scouts.
“And it’s one of those things where you take a step back and say, ‘What happened?’ Rotering told NBC’s “Today” show. “How did someone get so angry, so hateful, then take it out on innocent people .
Crimo, who goes by Bobby, was an aspiring rapper with the stage name Awake the Rapper, posting dozens of videos and songs, some sinister and violent, to social media.
In an animated video that was removed from YouTube, Crimo raps about armies “walking in the dark” as a drawing appears of a man pointing a rifle, a body on the ground and another figure with hands up in the distance.
Federal agents were reviewing Crimo’s online profiles, and a preliminary examination of his Internet history indicated that he had investigated mass murders and downloaded several photos showing violent acts, including a beheading, a law enforcement official said.
The official was unable to publicly discuss details of the investigation and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.
Vice President Kamala Harris, who had been in Chicago to address the National Education Association annual meeting on Tuesday, visited the scene of the shooting to offer her condolences to first responders and local officials.
“The entire nation should understand and have a level of empathy, to understand that this can happen anywhere, in any peace-loving community,” Harris said in brief remarks to reporters in Highland Park. “And we should come together and talk about why it has to stop.”
Shapiro, the Highland Park resident who fled the parade with his family, said his 2-year-old son woke up screaming later that night.
“He is too young to understand what happened,” Shapiro said. “But he knows something bad happened.”