Updated: Tue, 05 Jul 2022 07:50 AM IST
The Chicago Police on Monday (local time) captured a suspect, identified as 22-year-old Robert E Crimo III, hours after the shootout at a Fourth of July parade in the city suburb of Highland Park that claimed six lives while 24 others were wounded.
Crimo was arrested after a massive manhunt by the police. A video released by the Chicago affiliate of ABC News showed Crimo - who is suspected to have opened fire at the parade from a rooftop, using a high-powered rifle - leaving his car with his hands raised after getting surrounded by the police.
The police said charges will be filed against Crimo accordingly. However, it did not reveal the motive for the shooting.
JOE BIDEN IS 'SHOCKED'
US President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill said they were "shocked by the senseless gun violence that has yet again brought grief to an American community on this Independence Day."
In his statement, Biden said he has "surged federal law enforcement to assist in the urgent search for the shooter." "I’m not going to give up fighting the epidemic of gun violence," he said referring to bipartisan gun-reform legislation that he signed recently.
Amarani Garcia, who was at the parade with her young daughter, told the local ABC affiliate she heard gunfire, then a pause for what she suspected was reloading, and then more shots.
There were "people screaming and running. It was just really traumatizing," Garcia said. "I was very terrified. I hid with my daughter actually in a little store. It just makes me feel like we're not safe anymore."
Social media video showed a marching band suddenly breaking formation and running away, and other images of people leaving their belongings behind as they sought safety.
"Everyone was running, hiding and screaming," said CBS 2 Digital Producer Elyssa Kaufman, who was at the scene.
A 36-year-old native of Highland Park who wanted to be identified only as Sara, told Reuters she had attended the annual parade most years since her childhood.
"Not even five minutes after, very shortly after, the police and firetrucks part of the parade had gone by I heard ‘pop, pop, pop, pop, pop,’" she said, adding that she first thought they were muskets some times used in parades.
"I looked and there were no muskets. The popping didn’t stop ... again it went ‘pop, pop, pop, pop, pop’ and I turned and I said ‘those are gun shots, run!’”
Highland Park's population is 30,000 and nearly 90% white, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. About a third of the population is Jewish, according to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.
The shooting is likely to rekindle the American debate about gun control, and whether stricter measure can prevent mass shootings that happen so frequently in the United States.
After the Uvalde and Buffalo shootings, Congress last month passed its first major federal gun reform in three decades, providing federal funding to states that administer "red flag" laws intended to remove guns from people deemed dangerous.
It does not ban sales of assault-style rifles or high-capacity magazines, but does take some steps on background checks by allowing access to information on significant crimes committed by juveniles.
(With Reuters Inputs)