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‘Person Of Interest’ In Deadly Highland Park Mass Shooting Arrested In Lake County

The suspect in the shooting that left six dead and 25 wounded was arrested after a brief chase Monday evening in Lake Forest.

Crime scene file photo.
Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago

CHICAGO — The “person of interest” being sought in the deadly mass shooting at the Highland Park Independence Day parade was taken into custody Monday evening in Lake County after an all-day search that included help from Chicago Police.

A gunman opened fire from a roof overlooking the north suburb’s July Fourth parade around 10:15 a.m. Monday, firing dozens of shots in rapid succession from a rifle. Six people died and 25 were wounded, officials said. Terrified parade-goers ran from the route, leaving shoes, chairs and toys behind as they scrambled away from the shots.

The gunman fled the scene, reportedly leaving his rifle behind. Hours later, police said they were looking for a 22-year-old Highwood man named Robert “Bobby” Crimo III, who they said was driving a silver Honda Fit.

Police departments from around the area, including Chicago, assisted in the search, which extended for hours while many were told to shelter in place. Parades and fireworks displays around the area were canceled as the search continued.

Although there was no immediate threat to Chicagoans, the department closely watched as the search unfolds, Chicago Police Supt. David Brown said in a statement.

“We are working to provide assistance to the Highland Park Police Department, including from the air with a CPD helicopter,” Brown said. “While there is no actionable intelligence to suggest a threat to Chicago, we will continue to monitor the situation and deploy resources as necessary.”

“Senseless gun violence is a national epidemic and has no place anywhere so we must keep fighting to end it,” he continued. “The Chicago Police Department will be there for whatever the City of Highland Park needs.”

Monday evening, a North Chicago police officer spotted the Honda Fit and gave chase. The driver eventually stopped on U.S. 41 at Westleigh Road in Lake Forest. Video footage from a pizza delivery man stopped at that intersection showed a man standing outside the car with his arms up.

Police with rifles trained on him ordered him to the ground before they approached and handcuffed him. He was then put into one of the many nearby police cars and returned to Highland Park for questioning.

No motive in the shooting has been released.

Highland Park is a North Shore suburb about 25 miles outside of Chicago, located in Lake County. Surrounding suburbs had canceled their Fourth of July celebrations out of an abundance of caution earlier Monday, including Skokie and Evanston — both of which border Chicago. 

As of Monday afternoon, most Chicago celebrations were planned to go on as scheduled, although the Chicago White Sox issued a statement saying they would be canceling their traditional Fourth of July post-game fireworks show. The team said that they would be holding a moment of silence before the start of tonight’s game against the Minnesota Twins.

The decision to play the game was made in consultation with Major League Baseball, according to the team. 

“Our hearts are with the Highland Park community,” the team said in its statement. 

Ald. Andre Vasquez also issued a statement Monday afternoon urging Chicagoans to avoid Winnemac Park Monday night. Typically, the park at 5100 N. Leavitt St. is a popular spot for unofficial fireworks displays.

“Given this morning’s incident in Highland Park, I would highly recommend not going to Winnemac Park this evening, and would ask that those with plans to bring illegal fireworks to the park take it somewhere else,” Vasquez said. “There is no security at the gathering as it is not an official event, and I have reached out to the 20th District Commander to make sure we have presence in the area given today’s unfortunate attack.”

Mayor Lori Lightfoot said in a statement that she was in contact with Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering and that the CPD would continue to provide assistance. She urged anyone with information regarding the incident or shooter to call 911.

“The tragedy unfolding in Highland Park is devastating,” she said. “We grieve with the families of the deceased and injured as well as the entire Highland Park community.”

The tragedy comes at the end of a violent weekend in the city as well, where nine people have been killed and at least 48 others wounded in shootings since Friday.

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