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Suspect in parade mass shooting charged with seven counts of 1st degree murder

The suspect in the mass shooting that killed seven and injured dozens more Monday, July 4, at a Chicago suburb’s Independence Day parade is being charged with seven counts of first-degree murder, Lake County State’s Attorney Eric Rinehart said Tuesday evening. Rinehart called the shootings in Highland Park a premeditated attack.

More charges are coming against 21-year-old Robert Crimo, who was identified Monday as a person of interest in the shootings before he was apprehended by authorities about nine hours after they occurred.

“There will be dozens of more charges against Mr. Crimo,” Rinehart said. The investigation continues to be open and active.

The charges were announced after Highland Park police say they had two prior encounters with Crimo more than two years ago. In the first, police responded after it was reported that Crimo threatened suicide.

“The second occurred in September of 2019, a family member reported that Crimo said he was going to kill everyone and Crimo had a collection of knives,” Lake County Major Crimes Task Force spokesperson Chris Covelli said. “The police responded to the residents. The police removed 16 knives, a dagger and a sword from Crimo’s home.”

Covelli said there was nothing that led to further police action at that time and local police notified Illinois State Police. He said after that, Crimo legally purchased five guns over two years, including two high-powered rifles. To purchase firearms or ammunition in Illinois requires a valid Illinois State Police issued Firearm Owner’s Identification Card.

ISP Master Sergeant Delilah Garcia said there wasn’t anything to act upon in 2019 when local police reported the Crimo incident.

“He didn’t have a pending [FOID] application so there was nothing to review at that time when we got that notification,” Garcia told reporters. “We didn’t know that a few months later something else would happen.”

In a news release, Illinois State Police later clarified: “Then, in December of 2019, at the age of 19, the individual applied for a FOID card. The subject was under 21 and the application was sponsored by the subject’s father. Therefore, at the time of FOID application review in January of 2020, there was insufficient basis to establish a clear and present danger and deny the FOID application.”

Police on Tuesday also said Crimo had planned the attack over several weeks and fired more than 70 shots Monday from a nearby rooftop.

A seventh person has died from the attack after six died Monday. The victims’ identities were released Tuesday afternoon.

There’s no motive yet and Covelli said suspect Crimo’s attack on the parade appears to be “completely random.”

“We have no information that suggests at this point it was racially motivated, motivated by religion or any other protected status,” Covelli said during an update Tuesday.

In other updates, Covelli said the male suspect appears to have acted alone and was wearing a disguise.

“During the attack, Crimo was dressed in women’s clothing and investigators do believe he did this to conceal his facial tattoos and his identity and help him during the escape with the other people fleeing the chaos,” Covelli said.

Law enforcement continue to take tips from the public as well as any video evidence of the incident.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker issued a disaster declaration for Lake County to expedite any state resources necessary to assist with the community over the next month.

This article originally appeared on The Center Square.

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