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Chicago suburb reels after mass shooting at July 4 parade

3. US Shooting
Officers guard the scene of July 4 parade shooting in Highland Park, Illinois, on July 4, 2022. (Photo: AFP)

Highland Park, United States — A wealthy Chicago suburb was reeling Tuesday from a devastating shooting that saw gunfire tear through a July 4 holiday crowd, as online posts and videos pointed to the troubled mind of the 21-year-old suspected gunman.اضافة اعلان

The gunman, who grew up in Highland Park, where the shooting occurred, was arrested on Monday after six people were killed and two dozen injured during an Independence Day parade.

He was taken into custody after law enforcement launched a massive manhunt for the gunman who sprayed paradegoers with dozens of semi-automatic rounds from a rooftop.

“We’re all still reeling,” Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering told NBC’s Today show on Tuesday.

“Unbelievable shock,” Rotering said. “Everybody knows somebody who was affected by this directly.”

On Tuesday, police and FBI agents looking for evidence were sifting through belongings left behind by members of the crowd as they fled.

Strollers, bicycles, folding chairs, and other items littered the parade route through the main street of Highland Park as American flags flapped in the breeze from brick buildings.

Disturbing online content

The shooter’s online postings include violent content that alluded to guns and shootings.

One YouTube video posted eight months ago featured cartoons of a gunman and people being shot.

A voice-over says “I need to just do it.”

It adds: “It is my destiny. Everything has led up to this. Nothing can stop me, not even myself.”

Rotering, the mayor, said the firearm used in the shooting was “legally obtained.”

“This nation needs to have a conversation about these weekly events involving the murder of dozens of people with legally obtained guns,” she said. “We need to re-examine the laws.”

The shooting is the latest in a wave of gun violence plaguing the US, where approximately 40,000 deaths a year are caused by firearms, according to the Gun Violence Archive.

The deeply divisive debate over gun control was reignited by two massacres in May that saw 10 black people gunned down at an upstate New York supermarket and 21 people, mostly young children, slain at an elementary school in Texas.

The Highland Park shooting cast a pall over Independence Day, when towns and cities across the country hold similar parades and people attend barbecues, sporting events and fireworks displays.

Five of the six people killed, all adults, died at the scene. The sixth was taken to the hospital but succumbed to wounds there.

Highland Park Hospital, where most of the victims were taken, said it had received 25 people with gunshot wounds aged eight to 85.

President Joe Biden voiced his shock and vowed to keep fighting “the epidemic of gun violence.”

“I’m not going to give up,” he said.

Last week, Biden signed the first significant federal bill on gun safety in decades, just days after the US Supreme Court ruled that Americans have a fundamental right to carry a handgun in public.

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