Highland Park Suspect Was in Online Communities Where People Are “Programming Themselves to Kill”


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The death toll in Monday’s mass shooting in Highland Park, Illinois, has risen to seven after another victim died from their injuries. The suspect has been charged with seven counts of first-degree murder over the massacre that also left scores of people injured, including nine people who remain hospitalized. Police say he legally purchased five weapons, including the high-powered rifle used in the shooting, despite visiting his home in 2019 over threats of violence. Reporters also continue to unearth his online history, including videos that appeared to show an obsession with mass shootings and his support for former President Donald Trump. Investigative journalist Michael Edison Hayden, who covers internet radicalization and far-right extremism for the Southern Poverty Law Center, says that same link has been apparent in other mass shootings where disturbed people who are “programming themselves to kill … are also attracted to the nihilism of hard-right authoritarianism in the United States.”