A 21-year-old man linked to the mass shooting during the Highland Park Fourth of July parade has been charged with 7 counts of first-degree murder, authorities announced Tuesday.
Lake County State’s Attorney Eric Rinehart says that the suspected gunman will face additional charges and that his office will seek a mandatory life sentence.
“We anticipate dozens more charges centering around each of the victims,” he said.
According to Rinehart, the suspect will face attempted murder, aggravated battery, and other charges connected to the shooting. His office will seek to keep the suspect held without bail.
Authorities release new details on what they believe happened during the shooting, claiming that the suspect planned the shooting for “several weeks.”
According to Lake County Major Crimes Task Force spokesman Sgt. Christopher Covelli, 21-year-old Robert “Bobby” E. Crimo III had legally purchased a high-powered rifle before climbing a fire escape at a business along the suburban Chicago parade route. He fired more than 70 times from the rooftop.
“We do 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 a fire escape ladder and began opening fire on the innocent Independence Day celebration goers.”
Police report that a gun was found at the scene, and another rifle registered under Crimo’s name had been found in his vehicle. At this time, the motive for the shooting remains unclear.
“[The] shooting appears to be completely random,” Covelli said, adding that “we have no information to suggest at this point it was racially motivated, motivated by religion or any other protected status.”
Covelli said Crimo wore a disguise to “conceal his facial tattoos and identity.” Amidst the chaos, he escaped with others.
“He dropped his rifle and he blended in with the crowd and he escaped,” Covelli said, adding that he “blended right in with everybody else as they were running around almost as he was an innocent spectator as well.”
Crimp then went to his mother’s home near the parade in Highland Park and borrowed her vehicle. He was arrested a few hours later after a witness saw the car in the North Chicago suburb.
Covelli said “no indications” that anyone else was involved in the shooting.
The death toll rose to 7, while 46 others were injured in the mass shooting.
The incident happened at 10:14 a.m. CT in the area of Central Avenue and 2nd Street in downtown Highland Park during the city’s Fourth of July parade.