HIGHLAND PARK, Ill. (AP) – The man accused of killing seven people at an Independence Day parade confessed to police that he fired a hail of bullets from a rooftop in suburban Chicago and then into the Madison area , Wisconsin, where he was considering shooting down an event there, authorities said Wednesday.
The suspect returned to Illinois, where he was later arrested after deciding he was not ready to carry out another attack in Wisconsin, Lake County Major Crime Task Force spokesman Christopher Covelli said at a news conference after a Hearing at which the 21-year-old old man was denied bondage.
The parade’s shooting left another American community reeling — this time the affluent Highland Park, home to about 30,000 people near the shore of Lake Michigan. More than two dozen people were injured, some seriously, and hundreds of protesters, parents and children fled in panic.
Covelli said it did not appear that the suspect planned another attack in Wisconsin, but fled there, saw another Independence Day celebration and “seriously considered” shooting at it. The attacker had dropped the semi-automatic rifle he was using in Illinois, but Covelli said he was carrying another, similar rifle and about 60 more rounds.
Police later found his phone in Middleton, Wisconsin, about 130 miles from Highland Park.
Hours before his arrest, police warned that the gunman was still at large and should be considered armed and dangerous. Several nearby cities have canceled events such as parades and fireworks. Most of the celebrations in and around the capital of Wisconsin took place.
Madison Police Chief Shon Barnes said at a news conference Wednesday that the FBI asked the department Monday night to prepare its SWAT team because investigators believed the shooter might be in the area. Barnes said he was not warned at the time that the shooter was considering making more attacks.
Lake County Assistant Attorney Ben Dillon told the court that the shooter climbed the fire escape of a building above the Highland Park parade, “faced down, took aim,” and fired at people across the street. He left the shells of 83 bullets and three ammo magazines on the roof. According to police, he initially evaded capture by disguising himself as a woman and mingling with the fleeing crowd.
Some of the wounded remained hospitalized in critical condition, Covelli said, and the death toll could be rising. Nice, the deaths from the shooting left a 2-year-old boy without parents, families mourn the loss of beloved grandparents and a synagogue mourns the loss of a parishioner who also worked in staff for decades.
Lake County District Attorney Eric Rinehart said he plans to plead attempted murder and aggravated battery charges for anyone injured.
“There are many, many more indictments to come,” he told a news conference, estimating those indictments would be announced later this month.
If convicted of first-degree murder, the shooter would receive a mandatory life sentence with no possibility of parole.
The suspect, Robert Crimo III, was wearing a black long sleeve shirt when he appeared in court via video. In describing the shooting, the prosecutor said little beyond telling the judge he had no attorney.
On Tuesday, Thomas A. Durkin, a prominent Chicago attorney, said he will represent Crimo and intends to plead not guilty to all charges. But Durkin told the court Wednesday that he had a conflict of interest with the case. Crimo has been assigned a public defender.
Rinehart also left open the possibility of charging Crimo’s parents, telling reporters he “doesn’t want to answer” that question right now while the investigation continues.
Steve Greenberg, Crimo’s parents’ attorney, told The Associated Press that the parents have no qualms about being charged with anything related to their son’s case.
Questions also surfaced about how the suspect could have circumvented Illinois’ relatively strict gun laws legally buy five gunsincluding the high-powered rifle used in the shooting, although authorities were called to his home twice in 2019 for threats of violence and suicide.
Police went to the home after a call from a family member who said Crimo was threatening to “kill everyone” there. Covelli said police seized 16 knives, a dagger and a sword, but said there was no evidence he was in possession of any weapons at this time in September 2019. Police also responded to a reported suicide attempt by Crimo in April 2019, Covelli said.
The Illinois State Police, which issues licenses for gun owners, said Crimo applied for a license in December 2019, when he was 19. His father sponsored his application, and he bought the semi-automatic rifles in 2020, according to Covelli.
In all, police said, he bought five firearms, which officers seized at his father’s home. He bought four of the guns when he was under 21 and bought a fifth after his birthday last year.
The revelations about his gun purchases offered only the latest example of this young men who could procure weapons and carry out massacres in the last few months despite glaring warning signs about her mental health and propensity for violence.
State police have defended the handling of the request, saying that at the time there was “insufficient basis to determine a clear and present threat” and denied the request, state police said in a statement.
Investigators who questioned the suspect and reviewed his social media posts have not determined a motive or found evidence that he targeted victims based on race, religion or other protected status, Covelli said.
In 2013 Highland Park officials approved a ban on semi-automatic weapons and large-capacity ammunition magazines. A local doctor and the Illinois State Rifle Association were quick to question the liberal suburb’s stance. The litigation ended on the doorstep of the US Supreme Court in 2015 when judges declined to hear the case, leaving the suburb’s restrictions in place.
When asked if Crimo’s case had flaws in state law, Rinehart said that “the loophole in the state’s gun laws is that we don’t ban assault weapons.”
Under Illinois law, persons convicted of a felony, addicted to drugs, or persons determined capable of harming themselves or others may be denied the purchase of guns. That last stipulation might have deterred a suicidal crimo from getting a gun.
But under the law, “a court, panel, commission or other legal authority” must decide to whom this provision applies.
The state has what it calls a red flag law designed to stop dangerous people before they kill, but it requires family members, relatives, roommates or the police to ask a judge to order gun confiscations.
Crimo, who goes by the name Bobby, was an aspiring rapper with the stage name Awake the Rapper who posted dozens of videos and songs on social media, some of which were menacing and violent.
(Copyright (c) 2022 Sunbeam Television. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, transcribed or redistributed.)
https://whdh.com/news/police-parade-shooting-suspect-contemplated-2nd-shooting-2/ Police: Parade shooting suspect contemplated second shooting – Boston News, Weather, Sports