The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Highland Park shooting suspect held without bond; past incidents raise questions

Christopher Covelli, a spokesman for the Lake County Major Crime Task Force, said the suspect in Highland Park, Ill., contemplated targeting Madison, Wis. (Video: AP)
Placeholder while article actions load

HIGHLAND PARK, Ill. — The man accused of opening fire on a crowd watching a Fourth of July parade in Highland Park is being held in jail without bond, as authorities said Wednesday that he confessed to the shooting and considered carrying out a second massacre 100 miles away.

View live politics updates

The suspect, Robert E. Crimo III, drove to Madison, Wis., after the attack and “seriously contemplated” shooting more people at a celebration there, but he returned to Illinois and was arrested, said Christopher Covelli, a spokesman for the Lake County Major Crime Task Force. That revelation came as questions mounted about how Crimo was able to acquire multiple firearms even after previous contacts with police.

The director of the Illinois State Police, the agency responsible for issuing gun permits, said Wednesday that a 2019 clear-and-present-danger report had “insufficient” evidence to deem him dangerous and prevent him from purchasing weapons in the future. At the time, Crimo told Highland Park police that he did not feel like harming himself or others.

Here’s what else you need to know

  • Officials identified the seventh victim: Eduardo Uvaldo, 69. Other parade spectators who were killed include the parents of a 2-year-old boy and a beloved grandfather.
  • Reports of the suspect’s past encounters with police raised questions about how he purchased five firearms. In one of two visits in 2019, officers confiscated knives and a sword from Crimo’s residence after a family member reported that he threatened to “kill everyone.”
  • Crimo’s father sponsored his application for a firearm owner’s identification card in 2019, months after the family member’s reported threat, Illinois State Police said.
  • More than 300 mass shootings have occurred in the United States this year, according to the Gun Violence Archive, which defines them as incidents in which four or more people — not including the shooter — are injured or killed.