Tributes Grow For Highland Park Shooting Victims

Tributes Grow For Highland Park Shooting Victims

The moment survivors hide from the Highland Park shooter 0:47

(WABNEWS) — In the heart of Highland Park, Illinois, a community gathers in mourning, laying flowers, messages of remembrance and American flags at the scene of another mass shooting in the United States.

Yellow tape stretches across sidewalks along Central Avenue, the main route of a July 4 parade Monday morning that was interrupted by gunfire. Seven people were killed and dozens were injured when a man fired a semi-automatic rifle from a business rooftop into the crowd below and then fled, authorities said.

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Robert E. Crimo III, 21, was later arrested in connection with the shooting and admitted to authorities that he was the shooter, prosecutors said in court Wednesday.

Lake County State’s Attorney Eric Rinehart said the shooter will face additional charges for the people he injured, along with the seven counts of first-degree murder already filed.

“It is vital to the recovery of this community that each of the victims receives justice,” Rinehart told WABNEWS’s Wolf Blitzer on Wednesday.

In the days after the shooting, residents have paid tribute to those killed or injured along the parade route. There are some who are overwhelmed with emotion and others kneel to pray.

A mourner visits a memorial site for the victims of the 4th of July parade Wednesday in Highland Park, Illinois.

Hundreds of people gathered Wednesday night for a candlelight vigil in nearby Everts Park, where scores of orange ribbons – representing the gun violence awareness— hanging while “Amazing Grace” played with bagpipes.

As the mourning continues, more people come forward to share their experiences on the morning of the shooting, including Lily Wathen, who was about to start marching in the parade when the shots rang out. Her grandparents were sitting “right across from the attacker,” she told WABNEWS.

“Every year of my life we’ve been to this parade, and they wanted to be there specifically so that when I walked past the parade, I could find them there,” Wathen said.

His grandfather was hit in the shoulder with shrapnel, which did some damage to his lungs, but doctors say he will make a full recovery, he said.

Still, the trauma of the event has “shocked a lot of people,” he said. “It’s hard to say how we’ll be a year from now, but for now it’s scary to even think about going back.”

Two injured people remain hospitalized at the NorthShore University Health System facility as of Wednesday afternoon and are in stable condition, according to spokesman Jim Anthony. A total of 39 people had previously been treated for injuries, he said, and an 8-year-old boy was taken to UChicago Medicine Comer Children’s Hospital, which confirmed the boy is in critical but stable condition.

Anderson Cooper honors lives lost in Highland Park mass shooting 2:40 Suspect may have planned second attack, police say

After the shooting in Highland Park, the gunman was able to leave the scene and “seriously contemplated” the possibility of committing another shooting in the surroundings of Madison, Wisconsin, according to the deputy chief of the Lake County Serious Crimes Unit. Chris Covelli.

The firearm believed to have been used in the shooting he recovered near the scene, but Crimo had another weapon in his vehicle during his arrest, police said. The other weapon was a rifle Kel-TecCovelli said Wednesday. Crimo had about 60 rounds of ammunition in his car at the time, Covelli added.

When Crimo located another celebration in the Madison area, he “seriously considered using the firearm he had in his vehicle to commit another shooting,” Covelli said, though “the indications are that he hadn’t given it much thought or research.” “.

On Wednesday, Madison Police Department Chief Shon Barnes said the FBI alerted his department Monday afternoon, while Crimo was on the run, that he might be in the area.

“We are sorry for the grieving families of Highland Park and all those forever impacted by the events of Monday’s shooting. We recognize that the tragedy may well have taken place in our own community,” Barnes said in a statement.

After he was detained, Crimo “went into detail about what he had done, admitted what he had done,” in voluntary statements given during questioning by Highland Park police, Covelli said. Crimo has been appointed a public attorney and is due to appear in court again on July 28.

Covelli again declined to address the shooter’s motive, telling reporters he didn’t want to go into specific detail about what Crimo told investigators.

“However, he had some kind of affinity towards the numbers 4 and 7, and the reverse was 7/4,” Covelli said, referring to the Monday, July 4, date. According to Covelli, Crimo’s affinity “comes from the music that interests him”.

A doctor who treated the victims describes the horror of the shooting 7:04 A couple cared for a child in the moments after his parents died

Kevin McCarthy, 37, and his wife, Irina, 35, were two of the fatalities in Monday’s shooting. Their 2-year-old son, Aiden, was with them and had been shielded from the gunshots by Kevin’s body, Irina’s father and Aiden’s grandfather, Michael Levberg, told The Associated Press. Chicago Sun-Times.

Aiden “was pulled out from under his father, who was still bleeding, by good Samaritans,” Illinois Sen. Tammy Duckworth told WABNEWS.

Dana and Greg Ring spoke with WABNEWS’s Anderson Cooper Wednesday about Aiden’s care in the immediate aftermath of the shooting, when a woman — who was covered in blood and had difficulty speaking — handed Aiden over to them, they said. Aiden also had blood, but the couple said it was clear the blood was neither from the woman nor from the child.

The Rings got to their car with Aiden and their children and pulled into a Highland Park firehouse, where police “appeared to be gearing up for war with machine guns and helmets,” Greg Ring said.

“I went out with Aiden and I said, ‘He’s not our kid, what do we do? Can someone help us?’ And someone said, I’ll never forget, he said, you know, ‘We can’t babysit.’ : ‘We can’t babysit right now, can you take care of him?’ And we said of course.”

The family left their contact details and took Aiden to Dana’s parents’ house for a couple of hours, where he watched cartoons and didn’t cry, they said. But Dana Ring said that when she would try to talk to Aiden and ask his name, Aiden would say, “Mom, Dad, they’re coming for me soon.”

A detective was later contacted and arrived at the residence, Greg Ring said, taking Aiden to a reunification center where he was eventually reunited with other family members.

The Rings said they were thankful their children were alive and “we keep trying to remind them how incredibly lucky we were…and we have to keep focusing on that part,” Dana Ring said.

WABNEWS’s Ed Lavandera, Rebekah Riess, Ashley Killough, Jason Hanna, Dakin Andone, Melissa Alonso, Brad Parks, Alisha Ebrahimji, Sharif Paget and Corey James contributed to this report.

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