Highland Park shooting suspect indicted by grand jury on 117 counts, prosecutors say – NBC Chicago

The suspected gunman behind the mass shooting at the Highland Park Independence Day parade earlier this month has been indicted by a grand jury on 117 counts, prosecutors said Wednesday.

The 21-year-old now faces 21 counts of first-degree murder, three counts for each victim killed in the shooting, according to the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office. He also faces 48 counts of attempted murder and 48 counts of aggravated battery with a firearm “for each victim who was struck by a bullet, bullet fragment or shrapnel,” prosecutors said. .

“I would like to thank law enforcement and prosecutors who presented evidence to the grand jury today. Our investigation continues and our victim specialists are working around the clock to support all those affected by this crime who led to 117 felony counts being filed today,” State’s Attorney Eric Rinehart said in a statement.

The suspect is expected to appear in court again at 11 a.m. on August 3 for an arraignment hearing.

The alleged shooter is believed to have fired more than 70 rounds during the July 4 parade in Highland Park. He had previously been held without bail after his arrest.

“He actually poses a specific threat to the community, so the defendant will be held without bond,” the judge said during the bail hearing.

Prosecutors had said more charges were expected in the case, having initially filed only seven counts of first-degree murder. Still, those seven counts would, if convicted, carry a mandatory sentence of life in prison without parole, Rinehart said.

Lake County Major Crimes Task Force spokesman Sgt. Christopher Covelli said the suspect legally purchased a high-powered rifle before climbing an emergency exit at a business along the parade route in suburban Chicago and shooting more than 70 times from the roof.

A 21-year-old man arrested in connection with a shooting during a July 4 parade in Highland Park has been charged with murder, authorities said Tuesday.

“We believe [the suspect] pre-planned this attack for several weeks,” Covelli said. “He brought a high-powered rifle to this parade, he accessed the roof of a business via an escape ladder and began to open fire on innocent Independence Day spectators.

Authorities said a firearm found at the scene and another rifle found in the vehicle he was driving at the time of his arrest were registered in his name and purchased legally, but the motive for the shooting remains unclear.

The shooting happened less than three years after police attended the suspect’s home following a call from a family member who said he was threatening to ‘kill everyone’ there -down.

At that time, in September 2019, Covelli said police confiscated 16 knives, a dagger and a sword, but said there was no sign he had any firearms.

In April 2019, police also responded to a reported suicide attempt by the suspect, Covelli said.

The suspect legally purchased the rifle used in the attack in Illinois over the past year, Covelli said. In total, according to police, he purchased five firearms, which were recovered by officers from his father’s home.

Illinois State Police, which issues gun owner licenses, said the shooter applied for a license in December 2019, when he was 19. His father had sponsored his request.

At the time, “there was not a sufficient basis to establish a clear and present danger” and dismiss the claim, state police said in a statement.

State police say the suspect passed a series of background checks and no criminal charges, other than a citation for underage possession of tobacco, were found on his record.

NBC Chicago

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