HIGHLAND PARK, Ill. — The 21-year-old man accused of fatally shooting seven and wounding over 30 people at a Highland Park Fourth of July parade was charged with seven counts of first-degree murder on Tuesday evening.
Much more information about the shooting was released on Tuesday — including that the alleged gunman, Robert “Bobby” Crimo III, wore a disguise and blended into the crowd he fired upon before he fled the scene and was eventually caught by police. Additionally, police had two prior contacts with him in 2019 — one where they removed 16 knives, a dagger and a sword from his home.
Police said 21-year-old Robert “Bobby” Crimo III legally purchased the weapon used in the mass shooting. Crimo was arrested about eight hours after police said he opened fire during the holiday event. A second gun was found in his car following his arrest.
Police said he had planned the attack for weeks and on Monday, was able to access the roof of a business near the parade route and fired over 70 rounds into a panicking crowd.
In a Tuesday afternoon press conference, police provided more insight into prior contacts law enforcement had with Crimo III. They first had contact with him in April 2019.
They said an individual contacted the department on a delayed report of an attempted suicide by Crimo III. The second contact was in September 2019. Police removed 16 knives, a dagger and a sword after a family member reported that Crimo III was going to “kill everyone.”
At that time, there was no probable cause to arrest, police said. The Illinois State Police were notified of the incident. ISP said at the time, Crimo III did not have a FOID card to revoke. In December of that year, his father sponsored Crimo III’s application 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,” ISP said.
Crimo III legally purchased the high-powered rifle in Illinois within the past year, police said. In all, police said, he had purchased five firearms in the past, which were recovered by authorities at his father’s home.
The downtown parade was disrupted around 10:10 a.m. Monday after shots were fired near Central Avenue and 2nd Street.
Officials said Crimo III was wearing a dress and long-haired wig — possibly to hide his distinctive neck and face tattoos — and was able to blend into the crowd, posing as a bystander. After the shooting, he went to his mother’s home where he took her car and left the area. He was caught after someone recognized him and phoned North Chicago police.
He was arrested on Route 41 in Lake County after several hours of being wanted. Police said Crimo III was able to drive into Wisconsin and back into Illinois following the shooting.
Crimo III was charged with seven counts of first-degree murder with “dozens of more charges” expected soon, including aggravated battery and charges around victims’ physical and emotional well-being.
“These are just the first of many charges that will be filed against Mr. Crimo,” Lake County State’s Attorney Eric Rinehart said.
On Tuesday afternoon, the Lake County Coroner’s Office identified six of the seven victims. They are; Catherine Goldstein, 64, of Highland Park, Irina McCarthy, 35, of Highland Park, Kevin McCarthy, 37, of Highland Park, Jacki Sundheimm, 63, of Highland Park, Stephen Straus, 88, of Highland Park and Nicolas Toledo, 78, of Morales, Mexico.
WATCH: Coroner ID’s six of the seven victims
A seventh victim died at a hospital in Cook County and has not been identified at this time.
Officials said there was no indication that anyone else acted with Crimo III. A motive is currently unknown and charges are still pending.
Police addressed rumors that the gunman was targeting the suburb’s large Jewish population and said there is currently no indication that the shooting was racially charged or targeted toward any marginalized group.
Videos that appeared to have been posted online by Crimo III are under investigation by police.
No children were killed in the shooting, according to police.
The NorthShore Hospital group received 39 patients, including at least four to five children. Additionally, Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest said they received nine patients, with six having gunshot wounds.
In an earlier press conference Monday, NorthShore said 19 victims were been treated and released and the total age ranges were from eight to 85 years old. One of the children who were injured had to be airlifted to Comer Children’s Hospital in Chicago.
At this time, the exact total number of shooting victims in the incident is unknown, however at least 30 were shot.
Several suburban firework events were canceled following the shooting.
Anyone with any information, or anyone with video, is urged to call Highland Park police at 847-432-7730 or you can submit a tip to fbi.gov/highlandpark.