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Police arrest 'armed, dangerous' rapper, 22, after six killed in July 4th Chicago shooting
4 July 2022, 20:18 | Updated: 5 July 2022, 06:12
Police have arrested a 22-year-old suspect who is "armed and dangerous" after at least six people were killed and 24 wounded in a shooting at a July Fourth parade in a Chicago suburb.
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Robert E Crimo III was arrested and publicly identified by police on Monday evening following a brief pursuit in suburban Chicago.
The suspect remained on the loose for hours after the incident as authorities scoured the area and police surrounded a home listed as his possible address.
The verified Spotify artist Awake The Rapper has several albums and EPs uploaded to the streaming giant, the latest of which was released earlier this year.
Titled Brainwashed, the track-list includes songs named Dead Again and I Am the Storm.
Chris O'Neill, the incident commander at the scene, urged people to shelter in place as authorities searched for the suspect, who was initially described as a white man wearing a white or blue T-shirt.
Lake County major crime taskforce spokesman Christopher Covelli said at a news conference that the gunman apparently opened fire on parade-goers from a rooftop using a rifle that was recovered at the scene.
Mr Covelli said police believe there was only one gunman and warned that he should still be considered armed and dangerous.
Police have not released any details about the victims or wounded.
The parade began at about 10am local time, but it was suddenly halted about 10 minutes later after shots were fired.
Hundreds of parade-goers, some visibly bloodied, fled the parade route, leaving behind chairs, pushchairs, bicycles and blankets.
Police told people: "Everybody disperse, please. It is not safe to be here."
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".
He said he had "surged Federal law enforcement to assist in the urgent search for the shooter, who remains at large at this time".
Highland Park Police initially said in a statement that five people had been killed and 19 people were taken to hospital, but those numbers were revised soon after at the news conference.
Video shot by a Sun-Times journalist after the gunfire rang out shows a band on a float continuing to play as people run past, screaming.
Gina Troiani and her son were lined up with his daycare class ready to walk on to the parade route when she heard a loud sound that she believed was fireworks, until she heard people shouting about a gunman.
"We just start running in the opposite direction," she told The Associated Press.
Her five-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.
Ms Troiani said she pushed her son's bike, running through the area to get back to their car.
In a video that she shot on her phone, some of the children are visibly startled at the loud noise and they scramble to the side of the road as a siren wails nearby.
"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."
Illinois governor J.B. Pritzker said in a tweet that he is "closely monitoring the situation in Highland Park" and that Illinois state police are assisting.
Debbie Glickman, a Highland Park resident, said she was on a parade float with co-workers and the group was preparing to turn on to 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 Associated Press.
"So we just ran. We just ran. It's like mass chaos down there."
"I'm so freaked out," she said. "It's just so sad."