Highland Park Parade Shooting Suspect Charged With 7 Counts of Murder, State’s Attorney Says

Highland Park Parade
Highland Park Parade

At a press conference on Tuesday night, Lake County State’s Attorney Eric Rinehart announced that the suspect in the shooting rampage at a July 4th parade in Highland Park, Illinois, on Monday, which left seven dead and more than two dozen injured, had been charged with seven counts of first-degree murder.

According to Rinehart, Robert E. Crimo III, 21, faces a mandatory life sentence if convicted of the charges against him. Additional charges include attempted murder, aggravated discharge, and aggravated battery.

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“These are just the first of many charges that will be filed against Mr. Crimo; I want to emphasize that,” Rinehart said, adding he anticipates “dozens of more charges centering around each of the victims.”

Highland Park Parade Shooting Suspect Charged With 7 Counts of Murder

Since his arrest on Monday evening, Crimo has been held by the police. “We will ask a judge tomorrow morning at the Lake County courthouse to hold Mr. Crimo without the possibility of bail,” Rinehart said.

Thomas Durkin, a lawyer, said that he represents Crimo. Greenberg confirmed on Tuesday night via email that he has been retained to represent Crimo’s parents. The suspect’s parents authorized the lawyer to speak for them in a Twitter post.

“We are all mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, and this is a terrible tragedy for many families, the victims, the paradegoers, the community, and our own. Our hearts, thoughts, and prayers go out to everybody,” the statement read.

Six of the seven people killed in the shooting have already been identified, police said earlier on Tuesday. At the press conference, Lake County Coroner Jennifer Banek read off the names. The victims include:

  • 64-year-old Katherine Goldstein of Highland Park
  • 35-year-old Irina McCarthy of Highland Park
  • 37-year-old Kevin McCarthy of Highland Park
  • 63-year-old Jacquelyn Sundheim of Highland Park
  • 88-year-old Stephen Straus of Highland Park
  • 78-year-old Nicolas Toledo-Zaragoza of Morelos, Mexico

Banek reported that a seventh victim passed away at a facility located outside of Lake County.

Highland Park Parade
Highland Park Parade

According to Christopher Covelli, a Lake County Major Crime Task Force spokesman, 45 people were killed or injured in the shooting. During the press conference, Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering said that the investigation’s focus had shifted from the shooter to “the victims and those left behind.”

Investigators have revealed that the suspect may have planned the attack “for several weeks” and that he may have dressed as a woman during the shooting to hide his identity and his facial tattoos, as well as to blend in with the crowd that was fleeing in the aftermath of the shooting, as Covelli said.

“He blended right in with everybody as they were running around, almost as (if) he was an innocent spectator as well,” Covelli said.

On Tuesday, Covelli also shared that Crimo previously had two run-ins with the law. Authorities were notified in April 2019 that Crimo had attempted suicide. Covelli stated that Crimo and his parents were interviewed by authorities and that the matter was turned over to mental health professionals.

Then, in September 2019, Covelli said, a family member reported that Crimo threatened “to kill everyone” with his collection of knives. The police found 16 knives, a dagger, and a sword in their home and took them all away. Illinois State Police were notified by the Highland Park police.

“At that time, there was no probable cause to arrest. There were no complaints that were signed by any of the victims,” Covelli said. The suspect legally purchased the firearms, according to the police.

Covelli said that officers discovered another rifle inside the car in addition to the weapon used in the shooting that was found abandoned nearby. Covelli said, without providing details, that Crimo, a resident of Highwood, a city near Highland Park, had legally purchased both weapons in the Chicago area.

Covelli claimed that other weapons were discovered in Crimo’s Highwood home. Covelli stated that no evidence suggests the shooting was motivated by race, religion, or any other protected status.

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