Highland Park Shooting: Suspect charged with 7 counts of murder
By: April Carson
The man accused of Monday's mass shooting at a July 4th parade in Highland Park, Illinois, that killed seven people and wounded more than two dozen others has been charged with first-degree murder. During a news conference Tuesday evening, Lake County State's Attorney Eric Rinehart announced that the suspect had been charged with seven counts of first-degree murder.
The charges against Robert E. Crimo III, 21, may result in a mandatory life term if he is convicted, according to Rinehart. More charges are anticipated; attempt murder, aggravated discharge and aggravated battery are among them.
Rinehart said, "These are just the first of many charges that will be filed against Mr. Crimo, I want to emphasize that." In other words, no one is off limits.
The Highland Park Police Department released a statement saying that the Lake County Major Crime Task Force, which includes members from the FBI and U.S. Marshals Service, "has been working tirelessly to apprehend the suspect."
Crimo is currently being held without bail in the Lake County Jail. His next court appearance is scheduled for Monday, November 2.
Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering released a statement Tuesday night, saying:
"On behalf of the City of Highland Park, I want to express my sincere condolences to the families who lost loved ones in Sunday night's tragic shooting. No words can truly express the depth of sorrow we feel as a community."
She added, "I want to commend our law enforcement partners for their
Since being taken into police custody on Monday evening, Crimo has been incarcerated.
"In the Lake County courthouse tomorrow morning, we will ask a judge to keep Mr. Crimo in jail without the option of bail," Rinehart informed the crowd.
Thomas Durkin, a lawyer with the firm of Thomas Durkin, confirmed to CNN that he is Crimo's attorney.
According to attorney Steve Greenberg, who has been retained to represent Crimo's parents, all three of the boy's guardians have been served with court papers. The suspect's parentswere quoted as stating: "Our family is devastated by the death of our only child and ask for your prayers." Greenberg confirmed in an email to CNN that he was representing Crimo's parents.
"We are all mothers, fathers, sisters, and brothers; this is a terrible tragedy for many families, the victims, the paradegoers, the community, and our own. Our hearts go out to everyone," it continued.
The police named six of the seven individuals killed in the massacre on Tuesday.
During a news conference, Dr. Jennifer Banek, the Lake County coroner, read the list of names. The following persons were among those killed:
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
A seventh person died at a hospital outside of Lake County, according to Banek.
Christopher Covelli, a spokesperson for the Lake County Major Crime Task Force, said that 45 people were killed or wounded in the shooting.
The hunt for the shooter has taken precedence in the last 36 hours, but the focus of the investigation has now shifted to "the victims and those left behind," according on Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering.
Following the victims' names being revealed, Covelli said investigators believe the gunman planned the attack "for several weeks" and disguised himself as a woman during the shooting to conceal his identity and facial tattoos, as well as to aid him in fleeing with the crowd that was fleeing in panic after he opened fire.
"As they were running around, he blended right in with everyone else, almost as if he was a victim himself," Covelli continued at a press conference outside Highland Park police headquarters late Tuesday afternoon.
According to Covelli, Crimo had two prior incidents with law enforcement. In April 2019, a person called cops about Crimo attempting suicide. Authorities spoke with Crimo and his parents, and the situation was handled by mental health professionals, according to Covelli.
In September 2019, a family member reported that Crimo had threatened to "kill everyone" and kept knives in his bedroom. police removed 16 knives, a dagger and a sword from their home after receiving the complaint from Highland Park police. Illinois State Police were informed of the incident by Highland Park cops.
"There was no probable cause to arrest at the time," Covelli explained. "No complaints were signed by any of the victims, and there were no prior incidents that merited an investigation," he continued.
Following the September incident, Crimo acquired five weapons between 2020 and 2021 through Covelli. Individuals in Illinois need a Firearm Owners Identification (FOID) card to purchase weapons. Because Crimon was under the age of 21, his father sponsored him and he received a FOID card from the state police. Because there was "insufficient basis to establish a clear and present danger" at the time, his application was not denied.
Investigators are still trying to figure out a reason for the Monday shooting, according to Covelli.
According to Crimo, authorities believe that he used a high-powered rifle "similar to an AR-15" to fire more than 70 rounds into a parade crowd from the roof of a business, which he accessed by a fire escape's ladder.
The joyous celebration was shattered by the sound of gunshots just after 10 a.m. CT, sending hundreds of spectators scattering in panic across town - abandoning baby carriages, chairs, and American-flag decorations on the ground. Witnesses said they could see people being hit by bullets as they watched in horror.
In an already bloody spring and summer, the new violence adds to an increasingly deadly US period. More than 300 mass shootings have occurred in the United States since the beginning of May, according to data compiled by the Gun Violence Archive, a non-profit that tracks such incidents.
"There are no words for the kind of evil that appears at a public celebration of freedom, hides on a roof and shoots innocent people with an assault rifle," Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker stated Monday during a press conference about the shooting in El Paso. "It is devastating to learn that a celebration of America was destroyed by our uniquely American sickness."
There was no immediate information on why authorities believed the shooting had been planned for weeks.
Crimo went to his mother's house in the neighborhood after the shooting, and then fled in her car, according to Covelli.
"When police determined Crimo was a person of interest in the case and released his information and the car they thought he was in, someone saw the vehicle on US 41 and called 911," Covelli said.
The vehicle was spotted by a North Chicago police officer, who waited for backup and stopped the car Monday evening near Lake Forest, Illinois, where he arrested Crimo, authorities said.
Additionally, cops discovered a rifle inside the vehicle, along with the rifle used in the shooting, which was left near the scene of the crime.
According to the state attorney, a resident of Highwood, near Highland Park, purchased both weapons legally in the Chicago region. Covelli did not elaborate.
In addition to weapons, four additional firearms were recovered at Crimo's Highwood home, according to Covelli.
According to the prosecutor, investigators have no indication that the incident was based on race, religion, or any other protected category.
According to a synagogue close by where she was a member and a staff member, one of the fatalities was Jacki Sundheim, 63. Nicolas Toledo, 78, had been visiting his family in Highland Park from Mexico, according to an official from the state of Morelos.
39 people who were involved in the incident -- including the individual who died at a hospital -- were treated at three NorthShore University HealthSystem hospitals, according to the system.
The injured were between the ages of 8 and 85 -- four or five patients were children, according to Dr. Brigham Temple, the system's medical director.
The system as a whole was still seeing nine patients Tuesday, ranging in age from 14 to 70. Jim Anthony, the system's spokesman, said eight of the nine were shot. One was in critical condition on Tuesday, according to Anthony.
Police were still trying to determine a motive for the shooting. Highland Park Police Chief Jim Wray said that while his department had a "great working relationship" with the district, he was not ready to discuss a motive for the shooting.
"I think it's important for us to do our job, and do our due diligence in this investigation," Wray said. "And until we're able to put all the pieces together, I don't want to speculate."
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April Carson is the daughter of Billy Carson. She received her bachelor's degree in Social Sciences from Jacksonville University, where she was also on the Women's Basketball team. She now has a successful clothing company that specializes in organic baby clothes and other items. Take a look at their most popular fall fashions on bossbabymav.com
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