UPDATED 10:47 AM PT – Wednesday, July 6, 2022
The judge in the Illinois parade shooting case ordered the suspected gunman be held without bond as he faces seven first-degree murder charges. Robert Crimo III, 21, appeared in court Wednesday and officials said he admitted to his crimes, but they did not want to speculate on motives. He was charged with seven-counts of first degree murder.
Police said the gunman opened fire from the rooftop of a high rise building just as the Fourth of July parade kicked off Monday morning in downtown Highland Park, which is located north of Chicago. While dozens of people were injured in the violent attack, six out of the seven victims have now been identified.
“On a day that we came together to celebrate community and freedom we are instead mourning a tragic loss of life and struggling with the terror that was brought upon us,” voiced Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering.
Authorities said the suspect intended to go to Madison, Wisconsin to commit another mass shooting. He reportedly bought four weapons in 2020 and purchased a Glock in 2021 after his 21st birthday. They believe Crimo pre-planned the attack on the parade and he was preparing for it for several weeks.
The suspect was also said to be dressed in women’s clothing and investigators believe he did this to hide his identity and aid in his escape. He reportedly borrowed his mother’s vehicle. An alert was issued by authorities on the vehicle and Crimo’s information. The vehicle was later spotted and reported.
“He brought a high-powered rifle to this parade, he accessed the roof of a business via a fire escape ladder and began opening fire on the innocent Independence Day celebration goers,” said Chris Covelli, spokesperson for the Major Crime Task Force at the Lake County Sheriff’s Office.
A second rifle was located inside the vehicle with indications Crimo purchased this rifle as well. However, reports say he had legally purchased five weapons, including a shotgun and a pistol, prior to the attack. Additionally, authorities said Crimo purchased the rifle legally, despite having been involved in at least two police incidents in the past. He had a previous background of attempted suicide and threats of violence in 2019.
Meanwhile, the suspect remains in custody and, according to authorities, there are no indications that anybody else was involved in the attack. He will be held without bail. If convicted, Crimo will face a mandatory life sentence without the possibility of parole.