Autumn Hlava packs up a folding chair after learning that the July 4, 2022 parade had been canceled. (Jeff Hirsh photo)

After a mass shooting event Monday morning at the 4th of July parade in Highland Park, the City of Evanston canceled the parade and celebrations here. 

Update 6:45 p.m. Police announced that a person of interest in the shooting that left six people dead — Robert Crimo III — had been taken into custody on U.S. 41 at Westleigh Road in Lake Forest.

The city news release issued at 11:39 a.m. said that while there was no known threat to Evanston residents, the shooter is still at large; therefore, cancellations are taking place in an abundance of caution.

The Intersection of Central Street and Central Park Avenue around noon Monday. (Jeff Hirsh photo)

Update 12:25 p.m.: By shortly after noon would-be parade marchers had mostly left the assembly site for the parade at Central Street and Central Park Avenue in Evanston.

A few minutes later police took down the barricades and reopened Central Street to traffic.

The Chicago Sun-Times was reporting at midday that five people were dead and 16 hospitalized in the shooting at the Highland Park parade and that the shooter was still being sought.

Several other communities, including Skokie, Deerfield and Niles, joined Evanston in cancelling their Fourth of July events in the wake of the Highland Park shootings.

Update 1 p.m.: At a news conference in Highland Park police said there now are six dead and about two dozen additional people have been hospitalized. Police said a rifle apparently used by the shooter has been recovered, but the shooter is still being sought.

The shooter was described as a young white male, perhaps 18 years old, with long hair.

Update 1:05 p.m.: The City of Evanston just announced that it is closing beaches for the remainder of Monday “out of an abundance of caution and to address safety concerns of lakefront staff.”

Evanston police taping off access to a city beach this afternoon. (Jeff Hirsh photo)

The announcement also specified that the evening concert and fireworks on the lakefront have been canceled.

The news release also added that despite the mass shooting event in Highland Park “there is no known threat to Evanston.”

Update 1:15 p.m.: NorthShore University HealthSystem says its Highland Park Hospital is currently treating 26 individuals from the parade shooting and five have been transported to Evanston Hospital.

A vast majority suffered gunshot wounds and the remaining sustained injuries as a result of the ensuing chaos at the parade.

A hospital spokesman says that within 30 minutes of the event 20 additional physicians — including surgeons, trauma surgeons, orthopedic specialists — plus nurses and other support staff were present at Highland Park Hospital.

Crisis and social workers were available on-site at Highland Park Hospital to assist with family and friends of the individuals injured.

Update 3:45 p.m.: U.S. Rep Jan Schakowsky (D-Evanston) issued a statement saying, in part:
“We must resolve to take action to end the obscene proliferation of military style weapons, as well as the easy access to all deadly firearms. The avalanche of guns is defiling the very freedom and security that the 4th of July is meant to celebrate. We must renew our battle to assure that everyone is free to realize life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

Update 4:40 p.m.: Doctors at Highland Park Hospital say 19 of the 26 patients who were initially taken there from the parade shooting scene now have been treated and released. But two are still hospitalized there in stable condition and a few others have been transferred to other hospitals, including Evanston Hospital and Comer Children’s Hospital in Chicago.

Update 4:58 p.m.: Police in Highland Park have just announced that they are seeking to locate a Robert E. Crimo III as a person of interest in the parade shootings.

He’s described as being 22-years-old, from the local area and is said to be driving a 2010 silver Honda Fit with Illinois license plate DM80653.

Police say he’s considered armed and dangerous and that anyone who may know his whereabouts is urged to not try to make contact with him but instead to call 911.

Update 5:55 p.m.: At an early evening news conference in Highland Park, Mayor Nancy Rotering said, “Our hearts are broken for the victims and families.”

Gov. J.B. Pritzker said it was devastating that “a celebration of America was ripped apart by our uniquely American plague” of gun violence.

He said he was “furious that this is happening in communities all across Illinois and America.”

“It does not have to be this way,” Pritzker added, “Yet we as a nation continue to allow this to happen.”

U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth said she had listened to a video that captured the sound of the shots being fired at the parade, and “the last time I heard a weapon with that capacity firing that rapidly on a Fourth of July, it was in Iraq, not the United States of America.”

“We have to do more to keep our communities safe,” Duckworth added, saying that means banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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