Chilling new details are emerging as police continue to investigate a mass shooting that left seven dead and dozens injured at a July 4 parade in the suburb of Highland Park on Monday.
Authorities say the 21-year-old suspect charged in the shooting purchased his rifle legally and fired from the roof of a business after climbing a fire escape on Monday morning.
The investigation revealed that the suspect fired more than 70 rounds into the crowd before dropping his rifle and fleeing.
Authorities say the suspect planned the attack for “several weeks” before the parade.
“We believe he planned this attack for several weeks,” said Chris Covelli, spokesman for the Lake County Major Crimes Task Force. “He brought a high-powered rifle to this parade. He accessed the roof of a business via an escape ladder and began opening fire on innocent Independence Day bystanders.
“The rifle was purchased in Illinois, and the information we have so far indicates that it appears to have been purchased legally,” he added.
Authorities also revealed that the suspect wore women’s clothing during the shooting and worked to conceal his facial tattoos, which allowed him to escape from the scene into the fleeing crowd.
He then walked to his mother’s house and took her vehicle, police said.
A resident spotted the vehicle traveling on Route 41 and called 911, police said. There was a brief chase as police attempted to stop the vehicle, but it ultimately ended with the suspect’s arrest without further incident.
At least seven people were killed in the attack and dozens more were injured, authorities said.
The suspect is believed to have acted on his own and there are currently no other suspects at large in connection with the shooting.
Charges are still pending in this case and the investigation is ongoing.