Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering told CNN it is her understanding that the weapon used by the alleged shooter in Monday’s mass shooting in her city was purchased legally.
“That being said, again, if you can have a weekly mass shooting with a legally purchased gun, then I think we need to talk about why those laws aren’t protecting the very people that they’re supposed to be protecting,” Rotering told CNN’s Adrienne Broaddus. “Let’s be honest, we need to make it more difficult for people to create carnage.”
At least six people were killed and dozens were injured in a shooting in downtown Highland Park, Illinois, during a Fourth of July parade, officials said. Police took the suspect into custody Monday evening.
The mayor said she had known the shooting suspect, 22-year-old Robert E. Crimo III, when she was his Cub Scout pack leader.
“Many years ago, he was just a little boy, a quiet little boy that I knew,” she said.
“It breaks my heart. It absolutely breaks my heart. I see this picture and through the tattoos, I see the little boy. It’s heartbreaking. I don’t know, I don’t know what got him to this point, but let’s ask that question of so many people,” she said.
Rotering earlier told NBC that she didn’t believe he was previously known to police.
The mayor said several of Crimo’s online postings “reflected a plan and a desire to commit carnage for a long time in advance.”
“And it’s one of those things where you step back and you say, ‘What happened? How did somebody become this angry, this hateful?’ To then take it out on innocent people who literally were just having a family day out,” Rotering added.
Rotering said the focus in the discussion about the shooting should be about “the fact that there are weapons of war on our streets, that people can legally obtain these and then take out dozens of people.”