"It was just chaotic": Suspect caught after bloodbath at holiday parade

Another shooting shakes the US to its core.

"It was just chaotic": Suspect caught after bloodbath at holiday parade

Another shooting shakes the US to its core. A man opens fire on spectators at a parade on Independence Day. After hours of searching, the police are able to arrest a 22-year-old suspect.

After the bloodbath that killed at least six people at a US National Day parade near Chicago, 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 arrested person is Robert E. Crimo. 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. "Everything indicates that he was discreet and very difficult to see," said a security spokesman, Christopher Covelli. The attacker apparently specifically targeted the spectators of the parade. A "powerful rifle" was found at the crime scene.

The 22-year-old Crimo had apparently posted music videos he had shot on the Internet, which contained threatening-sounding lyrics and animated scenes of gun violence, reports CNN. Crimo, who calls himself "Awake the Rapper", offered his music on several major streaming platforms and on a personal website. The Facebook and Twitter accounts believed to belong to Crimo were deleted after he was arrested.

A doctor at a Highland Park hospital said it had treated patients aged 8 to 85 with gunshot wounds, including several children. 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.

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, 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 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. 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.

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.

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