HIGHLAND PARK, Ill. – The man accused Tuesday of opening fire during an Independence Day parade in suburban Chicago legally purchased five weapons, including two high-powered rifles, although authorities have been called to her home twice in 2019 for threats of violence and suicide, police say.
Lake County State’s Attorney Eric Rinehart said the suspect, if convicted on all seven counts of first-degree murder, would receive a life sentence without the possibility of parole. conditional. He promised that dozens of other charges would be sought.
A Lake County Major Crimes Task Force spokesperson said the alleged shooter, who was arrested Monday night, used a rifle ‘similar to an AR-15’ to spray more than 70 rounds from the top from a commercial building onto a crowd that had gathered for the parade in Highland Park, an affluent community of about 30,000 on the shore of Lake Michigan.
The assault 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 ” the low. Task force spokesman Christopher Covelli said police confiscated 16 knives, a dagger and a sword, but said there was no sign he had any firearms there. time, in September 2019.
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 all, 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.
In other developments, authorities reported the death of a seventh person. More than three dozen other people were injured in the attack, which Covelli said the suspect had been planning for several weeks.
Investigators who interviewed the suspect and reviewed his social media posts did not determine a motive or find any indication that he was targeting victims by race, religion or other protected status, Covelli said.
Earlier today, FBI agents peeked through trash cans and under picnic blankets as they searched for more evidence at the scene. The shots were initially mistaken for fireworks before hundreds of revelers fled in terror.
A day later, strollers, lawn chairs and other items left behind by panicked onlookers remained inside a large police perimeter. Outside the police strip, some residents came to collect blankets and chairs they had abandoned.
David Shapiro, 47, said the gunfire quickly turned the parade into “chaos”.
“People didn’t know right away where the shots were coming from, whether the shooter was in front of you or behind you chasing you,” he said Tuesday as he retrieved a stroller and lawn chairs.
The shooter initially evaded capture by dressing as a woman and blending into the fleeing crowd, Covelli said.
The shooting was just the latest to shatter the rituals of American life. Schools, churches, grocery stores and now community parades have all become killing grounds in recent months. This time the bloodshed came as the nation tried to celebrate its founding and the ties that still hold it together.
“It certainly hits a lot harder when it’s not just your hometown, but it’s right in front of you,” resident Ron Tuazon said as he and a friend returned to the parade route Monday night to recuperate. chairs, blankets and a child’s bicycle that his family abandoned when the shooting began.
“It’s commonplace now,” Tuazon said. “We won’t blink anymore. Until the laws change, it won’t be the same.”
A police officer arrested Robert E. Crimo III, 21, north of the scene of the shooting several hours after police released his photo and warned he was likely armed and dangerous, the police chief said. Highland Park, Lou Jogmen.
Her father, Bob, a longtime deli owner, ran for mayor in 2019. The candidate who won that race, current Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering, said she knew Crimo then. that she was a boy in Cubs.
“And it’s one of those things where you step back and say, ‘What happened? Rotering told NBC’s “Today” show. “How did someone get so angry, so hateful, only to go after innocent people who were literally having a family day?”
Crimo’s attorney, Thomas A. Durkin, a prominent Chicago-based attorney, said he intends to plead not guilty to all charges.
Asked about his client’s emotional state, Durkin said he only spoke to Crimo once – for 10 minutes over the phone. He declined to comment further.
The shooting occurred at a location on the parade route where many residents had staked out vantage points earlier in the day.
Among them were Nicolas Toledo, who was visiting family in Illinois from Mexico, and Jacki Sundheim, a longtime devotee and staff member of nearby North Shore Congregation Israel. The Lake County coroner has released the names of four other victims.
Nine people, ages 14 to 70, remained hospitalized on Tuesday, hospital officials said.
Since the start of the year, the United States has seen 15 shootings in which four or more people were killed, including the one in Highland Park, according to the Associated Press Massacre Database/USA TODAY/ Northeastern University.
Dozens of small-scale shootings in nearby Chicago also left eight people dead and 60 others injured over the July 4 weekend.
In 2013, Highland Park officials approved a ban on semi-automatic weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines. A local doctor and the Illinois State Rifle Association quickly challenged the liberal suburban position. The legal battle ended at the gates of the U.S. Supreme Court in 2015 when the justices refused to hear the case and let suburban restrictions remain in place.
Under Illinois law, gun purchases can be denied to those convicted of crimes, drug addicts, or those who qualify as “mentally incompetent” and capable of harming or killing themselves. harm others. It could have prevented a suicidal Crimo from getting a gun.
But under the law, who is a “mentally retarded person” must be decided by “a court, board, commission or other lawful authority”.
The state has a so-called red flag law designed to stop dangerous people before they kill, but it requires family members, relatives, roommates or police to ask a judge to order seizure. firearms.
Crimo, who goes by the name Bobby, was an aspiring rapper with the stage name Awake the Rapper, posting dozens of videos and songs, some disturbing and violent, on social media.
In an animated video since removed by YouTube, Crimo raps about armies “marching in darkness” as a drawing appears of a man pointing a gun, a body on the ground, and another figure with hands raised in the distance.
Federal agents were reviewing Crimo’s online profiles, and a preliminary review of his internet history indicated he had researched mass murders and uploaded several photos depicting violent acts, including a beheading, said a law enforcement official.
The official could not publicly discuss details of the investigation and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.
Shapiro, the Highland Park resident who fled the parade with his family, said his 2-year-old son woke up screaming later that night.
“He’s too young to understand what happened,” Shapiro said. “But he knows something bad happened.”
Foody brought back from Chicago. Thickets reported in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Associated Press writers Don Babwin in Chicago, Mike Householder in Highland Park, and Bernard Condon and Mike Balsamo in New York also contributed.
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