Faith community organizes vigils for victims of Highland Park mass shooting
HIGHLAND PARK, Ill. (CBS 58) -- An emotional night as those dealing with heartbreak came together. The faith community of Highland Park organized several vigils.
One at City Hall got underway at 8 p.m. and earlier, a visit from Vice President Kamala Harris.
"There's no question that this experience is something that is gonna linger in terms of the trauma," said Vice President Kamala Harris.The vice president is committing federal resources here.
At Highland Park Presbyterian Church, mourners signed crosses for each of the seven victims. It's one of three vigils held 36 hours after a parade celebrating freedom stole just that from thousands.
"But yesterday just felt surreal. I drove, but I think I drove like 30 miles an hour," said Charlotte Raasch, who was at the parade when the shots rang out.
Less than 24 hours after the arrest of Robert Crimo III in Lake Forest, Illinois, a swift act of justice -- charges announced. Seven counts of first degree murder. The seventh victim in the Independence Day parade shooting died at a hospital in Cook County.
"The minister said think of one word that comes to mind, and so today my one word is 'resentment,' but yet it's followed by forgiveness," said Raasch.
Police say Crimo disguised himself as a woman after the shooting, that he borrowed his mom's car and drove to Madison, then headed back toward Highland Park.
"It's very clear to investigators he tried to blend in with the rest of the victims who were fleeing the scene," said Lake County Major Crime Task Force Deputy Chief Chris Covelli.
Witnesses provided dozens of videos and photos that helped police work the case fast. Police are now hoping to find a woman they believe saw Crimo place a rifle into a red blanket at the scene.
"These officers not only ran towards the danger, but worked tirelessly throughout the day and night to investigate and solve this case," said Lake County State's Attorney Eric Rinehart.
Police believe Crimo planned the attack for weeks. They've had two prior incidents with the 21-year-old. They say he purchased five weapons in the last year legally. At least two are high-powered rifles. One was recovered through a search warrant at his father's home in Highwood, Illinois.
The FBI Victim Service Response Team's setting up shop at the Highland Park High School starting Wednesday, July 6.
Anyone needing counseling or financial assistance can walk in. It opens at noon.