Six dead at the holiday parade: investigators puzzle over the motive for the bloody deed

The US city of Highland Park is in shock a day after the deadly shooting at a holiday parade.

Six dead at the holiday parade: investigators puzzle over the motive for the bloody deed

The US city of Highland Park is in shock a day after the deadly shooting at a holiday parade. A 22-year-old, who has so far remained silent about the allegations, is an urgent suspect. According to media reports, the evidence against him is overwhelming. But the question of why remains.

Even after the arrest of a 22-year-old suspect, the motive for the killing of six people at a July 4th holiday parade in the United States remains unclear. The man is suspected of shooting indiscriminately at a crowd of people celebrating with a "powerful rifle" from the roof of a commercial building. The crime took place in a suburb of Chicago, Illinois. Several music videos posted on the internet showing scenes of gun violence are attributed to the suspect. He was arrested hours after the crime.

Many local residents gathered in the center of Highland Park, a city of 30,000, on the morning of July 4th, when US Independence Day is celebrated nationwide. They wanted to celebrate together. But the first shots were fired shortly after the parade began. Eyewitnesses later reported in US media that they initially thought the noise was fireworks. "Words fail me to describe this type of monster that lurks and shoots into a crowd of families with children," state Gov. Jay Robert Pritzker wrote on Twitter.

According to media reports, the suspected shooter could be identified from the weapon. Investigators found DNA traces on the gun that the suspect left at the scene, US broadcaster NBC News reported. An uncle of the arrested suspect told CNN that he saw no warning signs of such violence. "I'm heartbroken. I didn't see any indication that he would do anything like that." He has never seen his nephew behave violently or behave in a worrying way. "I can't say anything bad about him."

He described the young man as a withdrawn person: "He's a quiet kid. He's usually alone. He's a lonely, quiet person, he keeps everything to himself." According to US media, the suspect is said to have tried to make a name for himself as a rapper. Several social media accounts believed to be linked to the young man have since been blocked. In archived versions - apparently self-made - videos of the alleged shooter can be seen. They were published under a pseudonym.

The United States 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 dead 10 people in Buffalo, New York state, investigators assume a racist motive. The killing sprees reignited the discussion about stricter gun laws. Firearms are often readily available in the United States.

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 at the end of June calls 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 of dollars 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.

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