This past Independence Day (July 4), the Highland Park, IL community was rattled by a mass shooting that took place during a parade. So far, seven victims have been confirmed and the suspected shooter, Robert E. Crimo III, has also been identified and charged.
As the country continues to mourn, more and more people are speaking out with their thoughts following the tragic event. Cassie Goldstein was watching the parade with her mother Katherine when the shooting began and has now shared her personal account of what she witnessed that day.
“I was standing there with my mom and I heard what I thought were firecrackers firing into the street across from me,” Goldstein recalled to ABC News. “And then I looked up and I saw the shooter shooting down at the kids. I told her that it was a shooter and that she had to run.”
She then recounted the horrifying experience of having no choice but to leave her mother behind. “I started running with her and he shot her in the chest and she fell down. I knew she was dead,” Goldstein said. “I just told her that I loved her, but I couldn’t stop because he was still shooting everyone next to me.”
When asked about how she wants her mom to be remembered, Goldstein spoke about how she will always cherish their mother-daughter bond. “I want to share how she was before she died,” Goldstein reflects. “She was waving to the floats. Every float that went by, she waved to them. She was just a good mom. I got 22 years with her. I got to have 22 years with the best mom in the world.”
Crimo has been charged with seven counts of first-degree murder after the Highland Park police traced him via DNA on a rifle he used. If convicted, the 21-year-old will face a mandatory life sentence without the possibility of parole.