Highland Park Shooting Suspect Disguised Himself in Women’s Clothes

The Highland Park, Illinois, shooting suspect disguised himself in women’s clothing before he fired off more than 70 rounds from a high-powered rifle into innocent crowds gathered for a Fourth of July parade, authorities said Tuesday. 

Police said the 21-year-old shooting suspect opened fire on top of the roof of a business in the Chicago suburb on Monday, killing six people and wounding more than 30 others.

During the attack, the suspect donned women’s clothing to make it easier for him to evade police, Lake County Major Crime Task Force spokesman Christopher Covelli said during a press briefing on Tuesday. 

“Investigators do believe he did this to conceal his facial tattoos and his identity and help him during the escape with the other people who were fleeing the chaos,” Covelli said.

It’s possible that the suspect was also wearing a wig, Covelli said, adding that the suspect was captured on video wearing women’s clothes. 

“Video camera played a tremendous role in how we were able to identify him,” the police spokesman said.

Authorities believe that the shooting suspect used a weapon “similar” to an AR-15 and “pre-planned the attack for several weeks,” Covelli said. 

Covelli said that following the rampage, the suspect left the roof, dropped his rifle, “blended in with the crowd,” and escaped before authorities arrested him hours later.

“He walked to his mothers home who lived in the area and he blended right in with everybody else as they were running around almost as he was an innocent spectator as well,” said Covelli.

Covelli said the suspect “borrowed” his mother’s vehicle and fled, but was later apprehended during a traffic stop where police discovered a second rifle inside the car.

Police believe that the suspect legally purchased both rifles in the Chicago area and also owned other firearms. 

The attack “appears to be completely random,” Covelli said. 

“We have no information to suggest at this point it was racially motivated, motivated by religion or any other protected status,” he said. 

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