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Across the country this past July 4 weekend, multiple cities’ Independence Day celebrations were marred with shootings, leaving some dead and dozens more injured.
July 4 celebrations in Highland Park, Illinois, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Orlando, Florida, and Kenosha, Wisconsin were all cut short by the increasing gun violence plague that is ravaging the country.
The violence this weekend was so great that President Joe Biden tweeted out remarks saying he would not “give up fighting the epidemic of gun violence,” and that was before three of the above four listed shootings took place.
Jill and I are shocked by the senseless gun violence that has yet again brought grief to an American community this Independence Day. As always, we are grateful for the first responders and law enforcement on the scene.
I will not give up fighting the epidemic of gun violence.
— President Biden (@POTUS) July 4, 2022
Celebrations Cut Short By Shootings
The earliest and most deadly of the shootings took place in Highland Park, Illinois, where a shooter fired on an Independence Day parade from a rooftop, killing six and wounding at least 30 more.
In one of Chicago’s most affluent suburbs, shots echoed off of buildings at first confusing parade onlookers before people began fleeing for cover and for their lives.
New video shows panic and heavy gunfire at 4th of July parade in Highland Park, Illinois pic.twitter.com/nBPpLUpr1P
— BNO News (@BNONews) July 4, 2022
After an hours-long manhunt, law enforcement named Robert E. Crimo as a suspect. He was pulled over by police several hours after the shooting about five miles from the scene and was taken into custody “without incident”.
At a July 4 concert and fireworks show in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, two police officers were shot, leading hundreds to flee in all directions.
— Tyler Doudrick (@Doudrick) July 5, 2022
— Alex Dzomba (@AlexDzomba) July 5, 2022
One officer suffered a graze wound to the head and the other a gunshot wound to the shoulder, according to Philadelphia Police Department Commissioner Danielle Outlaw. Both officers were treated and released later the same night. The shooter has not yet been identified or arrested.
At an Orlando, Florida fireworks show the crowd was sent scattering with some people even jumping into a nearby lake to seek cover.
— Bob Hazen WESH (@HazenWESH) July 5, 2022
Orlando police sent out a message to the community that there was no evidence of a shooting, but understood why people would be on edge after news from other cities.
“People see others running, people are aware of the news coverage of things that have gone on elsewhere, and people were just being overly reactive, rightly so,” Orlando Police Chief Orlando Rolón said.
In Kenosha, Wisconsin one person was killed and four seriously injured at a July 4 shooting that took place at a residence late Monday night.
Authorities responded to reports of a shooting at a house and encountered a “chaotic scene with obvious evidence of multiple gunshots being fired,” a City of Kenosha Police Department statement said. There is currently no suspect in custody with an ongoing investigation into the shooting, the department said.
The Gun Violence Epidemic
The fourth anniversary of the “March For Our Lives” rally took place four months ago in Washington, D.C. to demand action in the gun violence epidemic in the U.S.
More than 1,100 body bags were placed on the National Mall, each one representing 150 people, to mark the more than 170,000 people who had died from gun violence in the U.S. since the 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
New York Governor Kathy Hochul signed into law Friday a new gun law that would require handgun-permit applicants to provide details of their social media accounts dating back three years, a measure that will likely be challenged by gun rights advocates.
Before the July 4 shooting, the Highland Park shooting suspect posted multiple disturbing videos to YouTube depicting mass shootings. Crimo’s most recent video showed him in the aftermath of a school shooting, ending with Crimo draping himself in an American flag. Another music video showed a cartoon character wearing a shirt with his YouTube logo on it, holding a rifle-styled gun and being shot by police.
Crimo’s YouTube account has currently been removed.