The suspect in the July 4 shooting in Highland Park, Illinois, was charged Tuesday with seven counts of first-degree murder.
Robert Crimo III, 21, is accused of killing seven people and wounding dozens of others when he allegedly opened fire on a parade route during an Independence Day celebration Monday.
“We do believe Crimo pre-planned this attack for several weeks,” Lake County Sheriff’s Deputy Chief Chris Covelli said Tuesday.
Police say Crimo scaled a fire escape to the roof of a building, where he opened fire with a high-powered rifle, shooting more than 70 rounds into the crowd. He dressed in “women’s clothing” during the attack to hide his face tattoos so he could blend in with the crowd, Covelli said. Crimo was arrested several hours later.
The ages of the dead range from 35 to 88 years old. More than 30 people were hospitalized.
Crimo was previously known to police, who responded to his home in April 2019 following a suicide attempt. They responded again in September that year after a family member called police to say Crimo had a large collection of knives and was threatening to “kill everyone,” according to Covelli.
Police removed 16 knives, a sword and a dagger from the home on that occasion, but didn’t arrest Crimo because there was no probable cause and the family member declined to sign a formal complaint.
Covelli said Crimo legally purchased the rifle used in the attack.
Among those killed in Monday’s shooting were Irina and Kevin McCarthy, who’d gone to the parade with their 2-year-old son, Aiden. A GoFundMe set up for Aiden notes that his extended family will now raise him.
Lake County State’s Attorney Eric Rinehart said during a Tuesday press conference that there will be “dozens” more charges filed against Crimo in the coming days.
If you or someone you know needs help, call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. You can also text HOME to 741-741 for free, 24-hour support from the Crisis Text Line. Outside of the U.S., please visit the International Association for Suicide Prevention for a database of resources.