Disturbing videos have emerged of the moment Fourth of July paradegoers in Highland Park, IL realized they were the targets of a mass shooting.
A person of interest, 22-year-old Robert Crimo III, was arrested Monday evening after a search that lasted hours. Seven people were killed, and dozens were injured in the carnage.
A clip from one witness showed a marching band in the street suddenly breaking into a sprint as bystanders filming the parade on their phones turn to the sound of gunshots, then get up and flee.
The moment the crowd realized there had been mass shooting in Highland Park, Illinois, at their fourth of July parade. Unfortunately there’s nothing more American than this tragedy. pic.twitter.com/beXt9uYP3F
— Read Wobblies and Zapatistas (@JoshuaPotash) July 4, 2022
Some witnesses said they at first thought the gunshots were a part of the procession. In another disturbing clip, a klezmer band continues to play through the shooting, apparently not realizing what has happened yet as people run in the other direction.
— Lynn Sweet (@lynnsweet) July 4, 2022
The gunshots can be heard very clearly in another video filmed from a witness inside an apartment building.
A woman said she saw the gunman on a rooftop across the street, then grabbed her kids and ran for cover.
“I remember looking around to try to figure out where the sound was coming from,” Abby Brosio told Good Morning America. “And I, in fact, looked up at the neighboring business across the street and saw the shooter on the roof and I just screamed that it was a shooter.”
Robert Crimo III was arrested after a short police chase in Lake Forest, just north of Chicago, around 7 p.m. Monday. The arrest was captured on tape at an intersection. Police said that the shooting was “completely random” and that Crimo fired on the crowd from a rooftop.
Crimo, a rapper who goes by the alias “Awake,” shared unsettling, cryptic music videos on social media, one of which depicts an armed stick figure being gunned down by police. His uncle, Paul, said he saw no warning signs. He described the shooter as an unemployed recluse who spends a lot of time online.
“I associate with him, but I don’t really like to engage with him. I say hi and then when I leave I say bye. That’s it,” Paul Crimo told CNN.