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Highland Park suspect initially charged with 7 counts of murder

On July 5, the Highland Park shooting suspect was charged with seven counts of murder with more charges expected in the coming days. (Video: Neeti Upadhye/Reuters)
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HIGHLAND PARK, Ill. — Authorities on Tuesday charged the man suspected of opening fire on the crowd at a Fourth of July parade in this Chicago suburb with seven counts of first-degree murder and pledged “dozens of more charges” in coming days, as reports of his previous contact with law enforcement prompted residents to ask whether more could have been done to prevent the massacre.

Lake County State’s Attorney Eric Rinehart announced the initial charges against 21-year-old Robert E. Crimo III at a news conference, calling the Monday mass shooting, which also injured more than 30 people, “a premeditated and calculated attack.”

“Lake County will never be the same,” Rinehart said.

If convicted, Crimo could spend the rest of his life in prison without the possibility of parole. Illinois repealed its death penalty in 2011.

Earlier Tuesday, investigators said Highland Park police had in 2019 confiscated 16 knives, a dagger and a sword from Crimo’s residence after a family member told officers he had threatened to “kill everyone,” said Christopher Covelli, a spokesman for the Lake County Major Crimes Task Force.

At the time, Covelli said, there was no probable cause to arrest Crimo, no evidence that he possessed firearms and no complaints were signed by any victims. Earlier that year, an individual reported to police that Crimo had attempted suicide, Covelli said.

July Fourth parade shooting suspect Robert E. Crimo III was visited by police in 2019, who removed knives, a dagger and a sword from the home. (Video: Reuters)

Here’s what else you need to know

  • Crimo purchased five firearms, including rifles and handguns after he threatened to “kill everyone” in an incident at his home, the police said.
  • Lake County coroner identified six of the seven victims in the shooting.
  • A doctor who treated victims said some suffered “unspeakable” wounds that were essentially “wartime injuries.”
  • DNA obtained from a rifle at the scene of the shooting played a vital role in identifying the suspect, authorities said.
7:45 p.m.
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General assignment intern
It’s unclear whether the suspect in the Highland Park shooting will face federal charges.The state will pursue the “maximum sentence” against Robert E. Crimo III, Lake County State’s Attorney Eric Rinehart said in a news conference Tuesday. The charges as of Tuesday evening were seven counts of first-degree murder, with “dozens” more to come, Rinehart said.John R. Lausch Jr., a U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, called the state murder charges “appropriate at this time,” and declined to comment on whether there would be federal charges.
6:27 p.m.
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General assignment intern
During two 2019 contacts with law enforcement, there was no indication that the suspect in the Highland Park shooting possessed firearms, authorities said in a news conference Tuesday.However, in 2020 and 2021, Robert E. Crimo III purchased a total of five firearms, which included at least two rifles, said Christopher Covelli, a spokesman for the Lake County Major Crime Task Force. Covelli did not have the exact dates of the purchases at the time of the news conference.
6:12 p.m.
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General assignment intern
The Highland Park suspect drove around “to a number of places” before he was taken into custody, authorities said in a news conference Tuesday.Robert E. Crimo III drove into Wisconsin, to the Madison area, before coming back into Illinois. Someone who recognized Crimo’s vehicle from a news briefing description then alerted law enforcement, leading to his arrest.Christopher Covelli, a spokesman for the Lake County Major Crime Task Force, did not disclose how police knew Crimo was in Wisconsin.
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