The Highland Park police told reporters during a live press briefing Tuesday afternoon that the 22-year-old man in custody after the death of now eight people at a Fourth of July parade in suburban Chicago appeared to have spent weeks planning the attack and wore women’s clothing during his getaway from a rooftop after firing more than 70 bullets, officials said on Tuesday.
The gunman “exited the roof, he dropped his rifle, he blended in with the crowd, and he escaped,” said Deputy Chief Christopher Covelli of the Lake County Sheriff’s Office, who added that a rapid effort to trace the gun and review video evidence helped investigators identify a person of interest in the case.
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Chief Covelli said the gunman, Robert E. Crimo III had legally purchased in the Chicago area the rifle that was used in the attack. He had another rifle, apparently also bought legally, in the car with him when he was taken into custody on Monday evening about 10 miles from the scene of the attack, the chief said.
More than 30 people were wounded by gunshots on Monday morning in Highland Park, Ill., a lakefront suburb north of Chicago, officials said. Six died on Monday, including one at a hospital, and two more died on Tuesday. The death toll is now at 8 dead. Chief Covelli said that the shooting appeared to have been random and that there was no indication that the victims had been targeted because of their race or religion.