The shooter charged with killing seven people at an Independence Day parade confessed to police that he carefully planned the massacre at the 4th of July parade where he also injured over 30 other people in a hail of bullets from a rooftop in suburban Chicago. Authorities said he then disguised himself as a woman to blend in with the panicking crowd and fled to the Madison, Wisconsin, area, where he contemplated shooting up an event he happened to come across there.
The 22-year-old killer had ditched the semi-automatic rifle he used in Illinois, which police recovered and used his DNA to identify him. But Robert Crimo had another, similar rifle and about 60 more rounds with him, according to Lake County Major Crime Task Force spokesman Christopher Covelli. Crimo, who managed to legally obtain his weapons despite a record of violent threats, only returned to Chicago after he realized he wasn’t prepared for another such mass shooting.
Some of the wounded remained hospitalized in critical condition, Covelli said, and the death toll could still rise. Already, the deaths from the shooting have left a 2-year-old boy without parents, families mourning the loss of beloved grandparents, and a synagogue grieving the death of a congregant who for decades had also worked on the staff.
Remember this little boy found wandering alone after #HighlandPark parade? We’ve just found out why… both his parents were killed💔
A fundraiser has been started for Irina and Kevin McCarthy’s 2-yo son Aiden as he grows up without them
— Marissa Parra (@MarParNews) July 5, 2022
Aside from the seven first-degree murder charges, Lake County State’s Attorney Eric Rinehart said he planned to bring attempted murder and aggravated battery charges for each individual who was wounded during the gunman’s reign of terror. “There will be many, many more charges coming,” he said at a news conference, estimating that those charges would be announced later this month.
— Rep. Eric Swalwell (@RepSwalwell) July 6, 2022
Crimo’s parents may also be charged after it was revealed his father helped him purchase weapons even after he had made violent threats. Police said he purchased five firearms, which were recovered by officers at his father’s home. He purchased four of the guns while he was under 21 and bought a fifth after his birthday last year.
Highland Park Cops were called to shooter's home twice in 2019
April 2019, shooter's suicide attempt
Sep 2019, shooter threatened to kill everyone, cops removed 16 knives, dagger, sword from home, fam didn’t press charges
Cops sent Clear & Present Danger notice to State Police
— 𝙶𝚎𝚖™💎🏳️🌈 #GOTV (@Lady_Star_Gem) July 6, 2022
The revelations about his gun purchases offered just the latest example of young men who were able to obtain guns and carry out massacres in recent months despite glaring warning signs about their mental health and inclination to violence. If convicted of the first-degree murder charges, the gunman would receive a mandatory life sentence without the possibility of parole.