Suspect charged with first-degree murder in Highland Park mass shooting – NBC Chicago

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.

The alleged shooter faces seven counts of first-degree murder in connection with the shooting that left seven people dead and dozens injured.

Lake County State’s Attorney Eric Rinehart said the shooting suspect will face additional charges in the coming days, but said his office will seek a mandatory life sentence.

“We anticipate dozens more charges centered on each of the victims,” he said.

Rinehart stressed that the suspect will face attempted murder, grievous bodily harm and a range of other charges related to the shooting, and that his office will seek to hold the suspect held without bail as part of the charge. ‘affair.

News of the charges comes as police released new details of what they believe happened during the shooting, saying the suspect had been planning the shooting for “several weeks”.

Lake County Major Crimes Task Force spokesman Sgt. Christopher Covelli says 21-year-old Robert “Bobby” E. Crimo III 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. (NOTE: NBC 5 will no longer name the suspect in this story)

“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 gun found at the scene and another rifle found in the 21-year-old’s vehicle at the time of his arrest were registered in his name and purchased legally, but the motive for the shooting remains uncertain.

“[The] the shooting appears to be completely random,” Covelli said, adding that “we have no information to suggest at this point that he was motivated by race, religion or any other protected status.”

Covelli said the alleged shooter dressed up to “hide his facial tattoos and his identity” and escaped with others fleeing the chaos.

“He dropped his rifle and he mingled with the crowd and he got away,” Covelli said, adding that he “got confused with everyone as they were almost running because he was also a innocent spectator”.

He drove to his mother’s home near the parade in Highland Park, borrowed her vehicle and was taken into custody hours later after a witness reported seeing the vehicle in the northern suburbs of Chicago .

Covelli said there was “no indication” anyone else was involved in the shooting.

The death toll and injuries in the mass shooting rose to seven dead, 46 on Tuesday, officials said, and details have begun to emerge about those who lost their lives in the tragedy.

The shooting occurred at 10:14 a.m. CT in the Central Avenue and 2nd Street area of ​​downtown Highland Park during the city’s 4th of July parade, authorities said.

In separate videos on social media, multiple gunshots could be heard, followed by a pause and another round of gunfire. In some videos, more than 50 gunshots are heard.

Larry Bloom, who was in the area when the shooting began, said at first onlookers thought the “pop” sound was part of the parade.

“You heard like a ‘pop, pop, pop’ and I think everyone thought maybe it was a display on one of the tanks and then it opened up,” Bloom said.

“I was screaming and people were screaming,” Bloom said. “They were freaking out and they were scattering and I, you know, we didn’t know that. You know, it was right above us.”

Dr. David Baum, who attended the parade, helped treat those injured in the shooting.

“The bodies that I saw, it was not an image that someone who is not a doctor would have trouble processing,” Dr. Baum said.

“There were people who were immediately killed with horrific gunshot wounds.”

While the shelter-in-place order for Highland Park residents has been lifted, police are still urging people to avoid the city’s downtown area as the investigation continues.

Illinois Governor JB Pritzker asked for prayers for the families of those who died and for those injured in the shooting.

“There are no words for the kind of monster that stalks and shoots at a crowd of families with children celebrating a holiday with their community,” Pritzker said in a statement. “There are no words for the kind of evil that robs our neighbors of their hopes, their dreams, their future. There are no words I can offer to ease the pain of those they leave behind. Know that our state mourns with you, that MK and I mourn with you.”

Video appears to show the moment the person of interest linked to the mass shooting at a July 4 parade in the Chicago suburb of Highland Park was arrested Monday night.

While the shelter-in-place order for Highland Park residents has been lifted, police are still urging people to avoid the city’s downtown area as the investigation continues.

Police continued to urge witnesses to submit photos or video from the scene that may be helpful to their investigation.

“One of the requests we have is for members of the community, if you have video of this individual walking into the parade, into the parade, potentially onto the roof or exiting, please call 1-800-Call -FBI,” Covelli said.

NBC Chicago

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