Alleged shooter faces 7 murder charges for attack on Highland Park parade that was planned for ‘several weeks’
Updated at 8:30 p.m.
The gunman who shot more than 40 people, including seven fatally, during a community parade in Highland Park has been charged with seven counts of first-degree murder.
The Lake County State’s Attorney Eric Rinehart announced the charges against Bobby Crimo, 21, of Highwood, during a Tuesday evening, July 5, press conference not far from where the shooting occurred in downtown Highland Park. Rinehart also promised more charges are forthcoming.
Police officers arrested the supected shooter around 7:30 p.m. on Monday, the Fourth of July, about nine hours after he allegedly opened fire from a rooftop on Central Avenue.
Deputy Chief Chris Covelli, of the Lake County Sheriff’s Office, said in an earlier press conference on Tuesday that the rifle used in the shooting was “like an AR-15” that Crimo purchased legally in the Chicago area.
The attack resulted in the death of at least seven people, while another at least 35 people were wounded.
Highland Park officials released the names of six of the seven who died in the shooting — Katherine Goldstein, 64, of Highland Park; Irina McCarthy, 35, of Highland Park; Kevin McCarthy, 37, of Highland Park; Jacki Sundheim, 63, of Highland Park; Stephen Straus, 88, of Highland Park; and Nicolas Toledo-Zaragoza, 78, of Morelos, Mexico. The seventh victim reportedly died in a hospital outside of Lake County and the individual’s name has not yet been released.
Covelli said that the shooter planned the attack for “several weeks”; however, did not go into specifics on how authorities obtained that information.
Covelli did reveal that police had at least two interactions with the shooter prior to Monday’s shooting. In the first instance, Highland Park police responded to a suicide attempt, and the second, in September 2019, the shooter allegedly told his family he would “kill everyone.” Officers reportedly seized 16 knives, a dagger and a sword at the time. HP officials said Crimo was not arrested at the time but the City notified Illinois State Police.
Covelli reported that the suspect, who has several visible tattoos, was dressed in women’s clothing as a disguise and acted alone when he fired more than 70 shots into the parade crowd. After the attack, the alleged shooter reportedly dropped the rifle — which was recovered at the scene by law enforcement — and escaped to his mother’s home in Highland Park.
“Following the attack … he dropped rifle and blended in with the crowd,” Covelli said. “He walked to his mother’s home who lived in the area and blended right in with everyone else … almost as if he was an innocent spectator.”
When the suspect was apprehended driving along Route 41 in Lake Forest, police say a second rifle was found in his car. Police also found other firearms at the shooter’s home in Highwood. The shooter, Covelli said, appears to have legally purchased all of his weapons in 2020 and 2021.
Covelli reported it appears that following his escape from the shooting, the suspect drove into Wisconsin and then back to Illinois.
Stay tuned as this story develops
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Joe Coughlin is a co-founder and the editor in chief of The Record. He leads investigative reporting and reports on anything else needed. Joe has been recognized for his investigative reporting and sports reporting, feature writing and photojournalism. Follow Joe on Twitter @joec2319