At least 6 are dead after shooting incident in Highland Park, Ill.
AILSA CHANG, HOST:
There has been another mass shooting, this one earlier today at a Fourth of July parade in Highland Park, Ill. That's a suburb north of Chicago. Earlier today, officials said six people were dead, and at least two dozen were taken to local hospitals. After a massive manhunt, officials now say their person of interest is in custody. NPR's Cheryl Corley is on the scene and joins us now. Hi, Cheryl.
CHERYL CORLEY, BYLINE: Hi, Ailsa.
CHANG: OK. So what has law enforcement said about how they found this person of interest?
CORLEY: Well, you know, Ailsa, there were so many police officers out here in force - state police, several local departments, the FBI. And they had people stationed not just in Highland Park, but all throughout several communities here. And they say a police officer in a surrounding suburb saw the car of this person of interest. That's 22-year-old Robert E. Crimo III. And they made a traffic stop. He was driving a 2010 silver Honda Fit. The traffic stop was made. Other officers were called in. A short chase occurred, and Crimo was captured without incident, no injuries. The shooting, of course, occurred around 10 o'clock this morning. And as I said, law enforcement came out in full force.
CORLEY: And by the end of the day here, they say they've captured a suspect...
CHANG: Can you return to...
CORLEY: ...Or a person of interest.
CHANG: Right, right. Can you return to earlier this morning? As we stated, six people are now dead. Walk us back a little, and explain how this all unfolded this morning.
CORLEY: Yes. Yeah. Well, police say that, you know, the parade was going on. People were celebrating. It was a festive atmosphere. But apparently, a gunman had climbed up on a rooftop. A ladder was attached to a building. He was able to gain access to the roof of a building from there and then started just shooting - shooting paradegoers, people who were watching that. And officials say that, you know, it seems like a random act. They haven't identified any motive. And at the time, they also debunked rumors that the shooter had taken hostages - not so. They say this was a lone person. And so they'll be trying to find out more about why this occurred when they question this person of interest tonight.
CHANG: Right. And as we've been explaining, this all happened during a Fourth of July parade - a happy celebration...
CHANG: ...At least the way it started. You've been talking to people in the community. You've also been hearing from a number of officials. How have people there been reacting to what has happened today?
CORLEY: Oh, you know, they've just been devastated. I talked to one man who was at the parade with his partner and their two children, and he said it was just a frightening experience. He put his kids in a dumpster in an effort to keep them safe. The mayor here has said, you know, that this has just been really a devastating experience - the bloodiest kind of incident that has occurred here and just really terrible. The governor was also here today and talked about it as well, offering his condolences. He said there was no words for the kind of evil that shows up at a public celebration of freedom, hides out on a roof and then shoots innocent people with an assault weapon. So he and the president and others have offered, you know, whatever help they can send to this community to help the residents and the community itself recover.
CHANG: OK. And at this point, Cheryl, what can we expect to happen next in this ongoing investigation and in the proceedings that will surely follow?
CORLEY: Yeah. Well, as you say, it is an ongoing investigation - you know, six people dead, five of them adults - one of those hasn't been identified - about 24 transported to hospitals. So it's finding out what happened to cause those sorts of injuries and also, you know, what, if any, motive there is for this type of shooting to occur at all.
CORLEY: You know, obviously, it comes in the context of mass shootings - roughly 250 shooting incidents in the U.S. in 2022...
CHANG: According to NPR's numbers.
CORLEY: ...So far. Yeah.
CHANG: Yeah. That is NPR's Cheryl Corley reporting from Highland Park, Ill. Thank you so much, Cheryl.
CORLEY: You're welcome.
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