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Highland Park parade shooter Robert Crimo charged, faces mandatory life sentence

The suspected Highland Park mass shooter has been charged with seven counts of first-degree murder for what prosecutors described Tuesday as a “premeditated and calculated attack.”

Robert E. “Bobby” Crimo III, 21, faces life in jail after being charged with the seven murder counts — one for each of the victims he allegedly gunned down at Monday’s Fourth of July parade in the leafy suburb of Chicago, Lake County State’s Attorney Eric Rinehart announced at a press conference.

“Today, the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office has charged Robert Crimo III with seven counts of first-degree murder for the killing spree that he has unleashed against our community,” Rinehart said to applause. “These are just the first of many charges that will be filed against Mr. Crimo.”

Law enforcement escorts a family away from the shooting.
Getty Images

Rinehart said the office expects to add dozens of additional charges against Crimo, including attempted murder charges, aggravated battery charges and more to coincide with injuries dozens of people suffered in the shooting. 

The seven murder raps alone carry a mandatory life sentence without the possibility of parole should Crimo be convicted.

“In the courtroom, we will seek the maximum sentence against this offender. Not because we seek vengeance, but because justice and the healing process demand it,” Rinehart said.

Flowers line on the sidewalk near the scene of the shooting.
Flowers line the sidewalk near the scene of the shooting.

Crimo is expected to be arraigned at Lake County Courthouse Wednesday morning. Rinehart said he will ask the judge to hold Primo without the possibility of bail. 

The attorney said Highland Park, where he is raising a family, has been shattered by the tragedy.  

“Hundreds, if not thousands, will be psychologically scarred by yesterday’s events,” Rinehart said. “These individuals, our community and Lake County will never be the same.”

Crimo is accused of climbing a rooftop of a business overlooking the parade route and firing more than 70 rounds at the innocent people below.  

He allegedly used a “high-powered” rifle that he purchased legally. More than 40 people, ranging in age from 8 to 85, were injured. 

More coverage on the Highland Park parade shooting

People react after a mass shooting took place at a Fourth of July parade route in the Chicago suburb of Highland Park, Illinois, U.S, July 4, 2022, in this screen grab obtained from a social media video. Jose F Rivera/via REUTERS THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT.
Paradegoers react after the 4th of July mass shooting in Highland Park.

The alleged killer was dressed in women’s clothing to disguise himself as he fled the scene. He then used his mother’s car to escape, but was eventually pulled over by police and arrested Monday night. 

“What should have been a celebration of freedom has ended in despair for our community,” Rinehart added. “All of the people who died steps from here lost their freedom, all of it.”

Rinehart said more must be done to prevent future tragedies, including increasing education around the state’s red flag laws, which removes guns from people deemed to be a safety threat and prevents them from buying more. 

Authorities said Crimo had purchased the weapons locally and legally in 2020 and 2021 — despite cops being called to his home twice in 2019 after he threatened suicide and to “kill everyone” in his family.

Robert E. "Bobby" Crimo III
Robert E. “Bobby” Crimo III, 22, was charged with seven counts of first-degree murder.
Blood pooled at Port Clinton Square in Highland Park, after a shooting at a July Fourth parade, in a Chicago suburb, Monday, July 4, 2022. (Lynn Sweet/Chicago Sun-Times via AP)
Blood pooled at Port Clinton Square in Highland Park after the massacre.
Lynn Sweet/Chicago Sun-Times via AP

When cops responded to the suspect’s home in September 2019, officers seized 16 knives, a dagger and a sword, but said there was no sign he had any guns at the time.

Rinehart called for a statewide ban on assault rifles like the one used by the gunman. 

“We should also ban assault weapons in Illinois and beyond,” Rinehart said, which seemed to get the loudest and longest applause from a crowd that had gathered to watch the press briefing. 

“As we go forward in the courtroom and in the community, we must do everything we can to make sure the horror that marked these streets, that echoed from these buildings, never happens again.”

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