Jul 06, 2022 08:26 UTC
  • Suspect in July 4 Highland Park mass shooting charged with 7 counts of murder

The man accused of killing seven people and wounding dozens of others in a mass shooting at a Fourth of July parade in Illinois has been charged with seven counts of murder, authorities said.

Robert Crimo, 21, would be punished “for the killing spree he has unleashed against our community,” Lake County State's Attorney Eric Rinehart said on Tuesday.

More charges are expected to come against Crimo, including attempted murder, aggravated discharge and aggravated battery charges, Rinehart said. "These are just the first of many charges that will be filed against Mr. Crimo, I want to emphasize that."

If convicted, the charges could lead to Crimo severing a mandatory life in prison, he added.

Crimo has been in police custody since he was arrested Monday evening eight hours after he opened fire at the parade in Highland Park, Illinois.

He was apprehended after someone spotted him on a highway in a nearby suburb. Police discovered a second rifle in the car similar to the one the suspect used in the attack.

"Tomorrow morning at the Lake County courthouse, we will ask a judge to hold Mr. Crimo without the possibility of bail," Rinehart said.

Crimo is accused of firing 70 bullets from a high-powered rifle, which he had purchased legally.

He had been investigated in 2019 after someone notified police that he had tried to kill himself. Officers seized a knife collection when they visited his home a few months later; after a family member reported he had threatened to “kill everyone.”

Still in the years since, Crimo has been allowed to legally purchase several firearms, including the rifle he used in Monday’s mass shooting.

In a statement, the Illinois State Police defended its decision to give Crimo a permit to own a gun, which he applied for in December 2019.

The shooting was not the first time law enforcement in Illinois knew someone might be deemed dangerous but permitted them to purchase or own a gun.

A man convicted of killing four people at a restaurant in Tennessee in 2018 had previously surrendered his guns to police in his Illinois hometown. But police had returned the firearms, including the AR-15-style rifle used in the attack, were returned to the gunman’s father.