Suspect in Fourth of July massacre confesses
Washington, Jul 6 (EFE).- The man in custody in connection with the July 4 mass shooting in the Chicago suburb of Highland Park confessed to the crime and revealed that he contemplated carrying out a second attack, authorities said Wednesday.
“His statement was voluntary. He was questioned in the Highland Park Police Department. He was read his Miranda warnings, offered attorneys, et cetera. He went into details about what he had done. He admitted to what he had done,” the state’s attorney in Lake County, Illinois, Eric Rinehart, told reporters.
Robert “Bobby” E. Crimo III appeared in court Wednesday via Zoom and was formally charged with seven counts of first-degree murder. The judge ordered him held without bail
“These are just the first of many charges that will be filed against Mr. Crimo. I want to emphasize that. There will be more charges,” Rinehart said.
A conviction on a single count of first-degree murder could see the 21-year-old sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
The shots fired from a rooftop during the Independence Day parade also left 38 other people wounded.
Following the attack, Crimo drove some 142 mi (228 km) to Madison, capital of the neighboring state of Wisconsin, where he encountered a Fourth of July celebration in progress.
Crimo “seriously contemplated using the firearm he had in his vehicle to commit another shooting,” but rejected the idea and drove back to Highland Park, the deputy chief of the Lake County Major Crime Task Force, Chris Covelli, said.
As to why Madison was spared, Covelli said that it appeared Crimo “hadn’t put enough thought or research into that.”
Police found 60 rounds of ammunition in the car along with the rifle.
Both Rinehart and Covelli said that investigators had yet to determine the motive behind the massacre.
Police in Highland Park received two calls about Crimo in 2019: one after he had attempted suicide; the other from a family member who said that the young man, who had more than a dozen knives, had threatened to “kill everyone.”
The alleged threat did not result in an arrest because no family member was willing to sign a complaint, but the Highland Park police informed the Illinois State Police about the incident in what is called a “clear and present danger” report.
Though the point of issuing such reports is to prevent people identified as potentially dangerous from buying guns, because Crimo was not then in possession of a gun permit nor had he applied for one, the state police took no action.
It was just months after the incident that Crimo’s father sponsored Bobby’s successful application for a gun permit.
The younger Crimo would go on to purchase five firearms, including the AR-15 type of rifle used in Monday’s shooting. EFE