Chabad Rabbi Says July 4th Shooter Entered His Shul On Pesach

Empty chairs sit along the sidewalk after parade-goers fled Highland Park's Fourth of July parade after shots were fired, Monday, July 4, 2022 in Chicago. (Tyler Pasciak LaRiviere/Chicago Sun-Times via AP)

HIGHLAND PARK (VINnews) — A local Chabad Rabbi says that he had previously seen the July Fourth shooter, when the man entered his shul on Pesach.

Rabbi Yosef Schanowitz recognized the photo of Robert Crimo released by police, and discovered that he had seen Crimo a few months earlier.

“During the last Pesach holiday, that person entered the Chabad synagogue. We have an armed security guard sitting in front… I approached him and sternly asked him to leave as I noticed he was not a member of our community,” Rabbi Schanowitz reportedly said.

According to a separate report, Rabbi Schanowitz, whose shul is just two blocks from the site of the shooting, helped shelter four teenage boys who were preparing a Chabad Tefillin booth for the parade after shots rang out.

After they were safe and he made sure they called their parents, the Rabbi drove to the Highland Park Hospital to visit the over 30 wounded victims.

“There was chaos… There was an overload of unexpected trauma,” he told The Forward.

“I told them I was clergy and I wished them all the best,” he said, adding “most of the people I saw were not of the Jewish faith, there were a few who were.”

He continued, “You have to do what you have to do. I thought I should at least make sure that there’s clergy on the premises. It just drives home that we’re living in an imperfect world, and we have work to do.”

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