After at least six people were shot dead at an Independence Day parade near Chicago, the police spent hours looking for the 22-year-old suspect – and finally found him.
After the bloodbath that killed at least six people at a US National Day parade near Chicago, the police arrested the suspected shooter. US broadcasters reported on Monday evening (local time), citing the local police, that the 22-year-old had been arrested. The US federal police FBI had previously announced that they were looking for the accused of “multiple homicides” at the US Independence Day parade in Highland Park – a suburb of Chicago, Illinois.
The man is suspected of having opened fire during the parade on Monday morning, killing at least six people. About two dozen injured were taken to hospitals, police said. A spokesman for the Lake County Sheriff’s Office said the perpetrator was believed to have fired indiscriminately at the crowd from the roof of a commercial building. A “powerful rifle” was found at the crime scene. The background of the crime was initially unknown.
Patients with gunshot wounds between 8 and 85
A doctor at a Highland Park hospital said it had treated patients aged 8 to 85 with gunshot wounds, including several children. Investigators only managed to identify a suspect hours after the deadly shots were fired. The police warned that the 22-year-old was considered armed and dangerous and that the population should be vigilant.
An eyewitness named Miles Zaremski told CNN that he saw several injured and lifeless people lying on the ground. “It was heartbreaking.” He heard around 30 pops. People fled the parade. “It was just chaotic.”
The parade began on Monday morning (local time/5:00 p.m. CEST). A short time later the first shots were fired. “At 10:14 am this morning, our community was terrorized by an act of violence that shocked us deeply,” said Mayor Nancy Rotering. Chief Police Officer at the scene, Chris O’Neill, said police and rescue workers were present at the parade and responded immediately.
In 2020 more than 50 deaths per day from gun violence
The US has long struggled with gargantuan levels of gun violence. At the end of May, an 18-year-old gunman massacred an elementary school in Texas: he killed 19 children and 2 teachers in the small town of Uvalde before being shot dead by the police. Just over a week earlier, an 18-year-old had shot ten people in Buffalo, Texas, and investigators assume a racist motive.
The killing sprees reignited the discussion about stricter gun laws. Firearms are often readily available in the United States. According to the CDC, nearly 20,000 people were shot nationwide in 2020 — more than 50 a day.
Biden shocked by Chicago shooting
US President Joe Biden said he was “shocked by the senseless gun violence that has once again brought grief to an American community on Independence Day.” His statement said: “I will not give up the fight against the epidemic of gun violence.” Biden and his Democrats have long called for tougher gun laws. However, far-reaching reforms repeatedly fail due to the resistance of the Republicans in Congress and the influence of the powerful gun lobby organization NRA.
Last month, buoyed by the Texas shootings and other bloody crimes, Congress passed a bipartisan gun control law, but it fell far short of Biden’s proposed reforms. Experts rated the tightening of gun laws as the most important since the mid-1990s. In terms of content, however, the law is only a non-partisan minimal compromise that critics have accused of being completely inadequate.
Stricter screening of gun buyers
The law, signed by Biden late last month, provides for more intensive screening of gun buyers under the age of 21. It is also about expanding state laws to take weapons away from potential threats. Illegal arms trafficking should be punishable at the federal level. In addition, billions are to flow into mental health care and anti-violence programs. Additional funds are also earmarked for the safety of schools. The ban on assault rifles demanded by Biden and his Democrats is missing from the law.
Amid the debate over gun violence, the US Supreme Court extended the right to carry guns in public last month. The Supreme Court in Washington overturned a more than 100-year-old New York state law that required you to have valid reason to obtain a license to carry a handgun concealed outside the home.