The FBI had previously said it was looking for the man 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 spokesperson for the Lake County Sheriff’s Office said the perpetrator is believed to have fired indiscriminately into the crowd from the roof of an office building. A “powerful rifle” was found at the crime scene. The background to the crime was initially unknown.
USA: Suspected shooter arrested
A 22-year-old man shot people indiscriminately at the Independence Day parade in Chicago. Six people died and 26 people had to be hospitalized. The motive of the alleged shooter who has since been arrested is still unclear.
The suspect had previously posted video clips of gun violence online. Social media accounts believed to be linked to the man have been blocked.
Hours of searching and uncertainty
A doctor at a Highland Park hospital said he treated patients aged eight to 85 with gunshot wounds, including several children. Investigators were only able to identify a suspect hours after the deadly shots were fired. Police warned that the 22-year-old was considered armed and dangerous and that the public should be vigilant.
An eyewitness named Miles Zaremski told CNN he saw several injured and lifeless people lying on the ground. “It was heartbreaking.” He heard about 30 pops. People fled the parade. “It was just confusing.”
Gun violence as a permanent problem
The parade started on Monday morning (local time / 17:00 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. Police Chief at the scene, Chris O’Neill, said police and rescue teams were present at the parade and responded immediately.
The United States has long struggled with gargantuan levels of gun violence. In late May, an 18-year-old gunman massacred an elementary school in Texas, killing 19 children and two teachers in the small town of Uvalde before being shot dead by police. Just over a week earlier, an 18-year-old shot 10 people in Buffalo, Texas, and investigators assume a racist motive.
Shots fired at US parade: suspect arrested
The suspect was arrested after the fatal shooting at a US National Day parade with multiple deaths, officials said. The gunman shot people indiscriminately from a roof during the parade. The 22-year-old was discovered during a traffic inspection and arrested after a brief chase.
Biden: “gun violence epidemic”
The killing has reignited discussion about tougher gun laws. Firearms are generally available in the United States. According to the CDC, nearly 20,000 people were shot across the country in 2020 — more than 50 a day.
US President Joe Biden said he was “shocked by the senseless gun violence that has once again brought suffering to an American community this Independence Day”. His statement read: “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 resistance from Republicans in Congress and the influence of the powerful NRA gun lobbying organization.
Slight tightening decided in June
Last month, spurred on by the Texas shootings and other bloody crimes, Congress passed a bipartisan gun control law but fell far short of Biden’s proposed reforms. Experts have called the tightening of gun laws the most important since the mid-1990s. In terms of content, however, the law is just a nonpartisan minimum compromise that critics have accused of being completely inadequate.
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 extending the laws to be able to remove weapons from potential threats. Illegal arms trafficking must be punished at the federal level.
In addition, billions must flow into mental health and anti-violence assistance programs. Additional funds are also earmarked for school safety. The assault rifle ban demanded by Biden and his Democrats is absent from the law.
Supreme Court extends right to bear arms
Amid the debate over gun violence, the US Supreme Court extended the right to bear arms in public last month. The Washington Supreme Court overturned a 100-year-old New York state law that required you to have valid reasons to obtain a license to carry a concealed weapon outside your home.