HIGHLAND PARK, Ill. – Officials have announced charges against the person suspected of killing seven people and injuring more than 30 others at a Fourth of July parade in Highland Park, Illinois.
Robert Crimo III, 21, of Highwood Township, Illinois, is charged with seven counts of first-degree murder, according to Lake County State’s Attorney Eric Rinehart.
“These are just the first of many charges that will be filed against Mr. Crimo,” Rinehart said.
If convicted, the suspected shooter will face a mandatory sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Officials said they anticipate dozens of additional charges being issued against him.
Rinehart said this is still an open and active investigation.
Around 10 a.m. Monday (July 4), the Independence Day celebration was interrupted by gunshots that killed seven and injured at least 30 others. Police said the age range of the shooting victims is 8 to 85 years old.
Authorities identified six of the people who were killed:
- Katherine Goldstein, 64, of Highland Park
- Irina McCarthy, 35, of Highland Park
- Kevin McCarthy, 37, of Highland Park
- Jacquelyn Sundheim, 63, of Highland Park
- Stephen Straus, 88, of Highland Park
- Nicolas Toledo-Zaragoza, 78, of Morelos, Mexico
- A seventh person died from their injuries in Cook County, but police have not revealed that person’s identity.
Authorities spoke about the timeline of events during a news conference on Tuesday and said formal charges are expected to be filed.
Illinois officials said during the conference that they believed that Crimo pre-planned the attack, but the motive of the shooting is still unknown.
The suspected gunman executed the shooting from the roof of a business in downtown Highland Park. Officials say that he accessed the rooftop using an emergency stairwell. Lake County Major Crime Task Force spokesman Christopher Covelli who led Tuesday’s conference said that the suspected shooter used a high-powered rifle “similar to an AR-15.” It is believed that the 21-year-old fired more than 70 rounds.
After the attack, the suspected gunman wore a disguise to blend into the crowd escaping the downtown area of Highland Park. Officials say that after fleeing the area he borrowed his mother’s vehicle, a 2010 Silver Honda Fit, and started heading south on Route 41. After vehicle information was released to the general public, someone spotted the escape vehicle and called 911. According to police, there was a second rifle was located inside the Honda Fit.
Below is a message from Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering:
Today was the bloodiest day that we have ever experienced in Highland Park. This morning at approximately 10:14 AM a shooter opened fire with an assault weapon on a crowd attending our 4th of July parade. We know at this time that six individuals lost their lives and at least 24 were injured. Our hearts go out to the victims, families, and our community.
The attack prompted an immediate and well-coordinated response from multiple law enforcement agencies at the Federal, State, County, and local levels. A suspect, Robert “Bobby” Crimo III (age 22 of Highwood, Ill.) was identified and a massive manhunt ensued.
At approximately 6:30 p.m., the suspect was apprehended on Route 41 at Westleigh Road. He was taken into custody without incident and is currently being processed through the Highland Park Police Department.
Throughout the day we have received offers of support and resources from public officials and agencies including President Biden. Fellow mayors have reached out from across the country, many who lead communities that have experienced this pain and tragedy. We thank Governor J.B. Pritzker, Senator Richard Durbin, Senator Tammy Duckworth, Congressman Brad Schneider, Illinois State Senator Julie Morrison, and Illinois State Representative Bob Morgan for coming to support our community and for providing every available resource.
I want to thank our first responders for their bravery and extraordinary efforts today. Our police and firefighters saved countless lives with their responses -- running into danger and taking immediate action to save others. We are grateful for these selfless acts. We know there were members of our community who rendered aid and assistance as well, and we thank each and every one of you for those efforts.
I also want to acknowledge and thank numerous agencies for their support including American Red Cross, World Central Kitchen, Lakeshore Country Club, Northmoor Country Club, Soul and Smoke food truck, Catering by Michaels, Northern Illinois Critical Incident Stress Management, local clergy and many other individuals and agencies have stepped up to provide food and support for our first responders. We are grateful for their generosity.
Our community, like so many before us, is devastated. It’s impossible to imagine the pain of this kind of tragedy until it happens in your backyard. Gun violence - a mass shooting such as this casts a much wider net of agony than what the public is typically exposed to; it’s a crisis that devastates entire families and communities in a single moment and we know will take time to heal.
Tomorrow the President will order our flags to fly at half-mast, and many public programs have been canceled. Please check with your camps and activities to see if they are operating. In the days and weeks ahead we will come together as a community to mourn and begin the path of healing. I will share more information as it is available.
Road and Business Closures
Numerous roads will remain closed in central downtown Highland Park for the FBI investigation, and many businesses will remain closed. The area closure spans Laurel Avenue from First Street to Elm Place and Green Bay Road from First Street to Elm Place (map below). Detours will be established, but please limit your travel only to essential business in Highland Park. The City is reaching out to business owners to share information, and will work with them to reopen as soon as possible.
A coordinated effort is also being made to provide crisis counseling to anyone in need. The City of Highland Park, District 112, District 113, and the Park District will have counselors available at Highland Park High School, 433 Vine Ave., for community members in need of assistance, tomorrow from 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM. No appointment is necessary. The Vine Ave. entrance will be open and anyone who wishes to take advantage of counseling services will need to have a valid driver’s license or student ID to be cleared to enter the school.
The theme of this year’s parade was community -- and while we are hurting -- we know that we will come together and support each other, as we always do, in difficult times. We are Highland Park strong.City of Highland Park, Illinois - Facebook