Weapon in Highland Park parade attack was legally obtained, mayor says

The July Fourth parade attack suspect legally purchased multiple weapons, including at least two rifles, prior to the shooting in Highland Park, Illinois, that killed six people, authorities said Tuesday.

A rifle used in the massacre and recovered at the scene had been purchased in the Chicago area, Deputy Chief Christopher Covelli of the Lake County Sheriff’s Office said at a news conference. Officials found another rifle in the suspect’s vehicle after apprehending him, Covelli said, adding that there were firearms at his residence as well.

The weapons were legally purchased from separate locations, Covelli said.

In addition to those killed, the massacre injured more than 30 people. Officials have said the weapon used in it was a high-powered rifle but have not specified what type.

Covelli said on Tuesday that it dispersed “high-velocity rounds similar to an AR-15;” there was no indication that the weapon had been modified, he said.

Earlier Tuesday, the mayor of Highland Park, Illinois, confirmed that the weapon used in the attack was purchased legally.

“I don’t know where the gun came from, but I do know that it was legally obtained, and I think at some point, this nation needs to have a conversation about these weekly events involving the murder of dozens of people with legally obtained guns,” Nancy Rotering told NBC’s “TODAY” Show. “If that’s what our laws stand for, then I think we need to re-examine our laws.”

Highland Park has been a leader in the fight against gun violence. Nearly a decade ago, Rotering led an effort in her Chicago suburb to ban assault weapons — a move that was challenged and ultimately upheld by the Supreme Court.

In June 2013, Highland Park officials passed an ordinance banning AR-15s and AK-47s after a packed meeting that overflowed from the City Council chamber, the Chicago Tribune reported.

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