Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering told NBC’s "Today" show that the weapon suspect Robert Crimo III used in the deadly Fourth of July parade shooting was "legally obtained" — and now the U.S. needs to re-examine gun laws in its aftermath. 

The Illinois mayor said she is waiting Tuesday for prosecutors to file charges against the 22-year-old accused of killing at least six and wounding more than 30 in Monday’s attack.  

"This tragedy never should have arrived on our doorsteps and as a small town, everybody knows somebody that was affected by this directly," Rotering said. 

The mayor added that she was Crimo’s Cub Scout leader as a child, describing him as "just a little boy." 


Highland Park July 4 shooting suspect Robert Crimo III

Robert E. Crimo, 22, has been identified as the suspect in the July 4th parade attack in Highland Park, Illinois, in which at least six people were killed. He was taken into police custody hours after the shooting. (Highland Park Police Department)

"It’s one of those things where you step back, and you say ‘What happened?'" Rotering said. "How did somebody become this angry, this hateful to then take it out on innocent people?" 

Rotering told "Today" that she did not know where the gun that was used in the attack came from, but noted that it was "legally obtained." 

"I think at some point the nation needs to have a conversation about these weekly events involving the murder of dozens of people with legally obtained guns," Rotering continued. "If that is what our laws stand for, then I think we need to re-examine the laws." 

Highland Park Illinois Fourth of July parade shooting

Law enforcement search after a mass shooting at the Fourth of July parade in Highland Park, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, on Monday, July 4. (AP/Nam Y. Huh)

Rotering also called the shooting an "absolutely devastating blow" to her community. 


Police officer at Highland Park parade

A police officer reacts as he walks in downtown Highland Park on Monday, July 4. (AP Newsroom)

"I would rather focus on why do we as a nation allow this to happen with such regularity? Why do we say, ‘Oh OK, that was that’? I can’t tell you how many mayors I heard from yesterday, mayors that I obviously am aware of because of their own tragedies," she added. 

"This is unbelievable to me that this is an acceptable part of who we are as a nation," Rotering said.