Bystanders run after hearing gunshots in shooting at July 4 parade in Illinois
Robert Crimo, the suspect in the mass shooting at an Independence Day parade in Highland Park, Illinois, is expected to appear in court on Wednesday, a day after he was charged with seven counts of first-degree murder.
If convicted, he will face life in prison without the possibility of parole, said Illinois state attorney Eric Reinhart. The prosecutors will ask a judge to deny bail, reported CNN.
According to the police, Mr Crimo had planned an attack for weeks and fired more than 70 rounds randomly into the crowd watching the parade, killing seven and injuring more than three dozen people.
He had his first encounter with the police in April 2019, when the authorities received a 911 call reporting an attempted suicide, said Lake County Sheriff deputy chief Christopher Covelli on Tuesday. In September that year police were again called regarding alleged threats “to kill everyone” that he had directed at family members, though they did not arrest him.
The names of six of the seven victims have been released: Katherine Goldstein, 64, Irina McCarthy, 35, Kevin McCarthy, 37, Jacquelyn Sundheim, 63, Stephen Strauss, 88, and Nicolas Toledo-Zaragoza, 78.
Crimo went to Trump rally dressed as Where’s Waldo
Robert Crimo attended a Donald Trump rally dressed up as the character from “Where’s Waldo”.
Mr Crimo appears to be a supporter of the former president – who is currently himself the focus of an investigation in Congress over the January 6 Capitol riot.
The 21-year-old, who posted disturbing videos online ahead of Monday’s massacre, was pictured in the Waldo outfit at a Trump rally in Northbrook, Illinois, in September 2020.
He posted a selfie of himself at the event with a Trump 2020 flag seen in the background.
Read the details in this report by Rachel Sharp:
Namita Singh6 July 2022 10:30
What we know about the gun used by Highland Park shooter
The type of gun used in the Highland Park 4 July shooting that killed seven and wounded over three dozen was a high-powered rifle “similar to an AR-15”, police said at a briefing on Tuesday.
Authorities initially said they had recovered a “rifle” from along the parade route, and that they were deliberately withholding further details as they hunted for the gunman.
Sgt Christopher Covelli, from the Lake County Major Crime Task Force, later revealed the gunman had scaled a fire escape and fired more than 70 rounds down onto the crowd from a business rooftop.
When the gunfire erupted just after 10am CDT, hundreds of parade-goers in Highland Park fled leaving prams, clothes and pools of blood strewn along the route in Highland Park.
In videos of the incident, the heavy, staccato sound of semi-automatic gunfire was unmistakable.
“We heard 20 to 30 rounds,” Letham Burns told NBC News.
“It definitely was semi-automatic, in a rapid cadence.”
Read the details in this report from my colleague Bevan Hurley:
Namita Singh6 July 2022 10:15
Greene shares photoshopped image of Robert Crimo
Marjorie Taylor Greene admitted to spreading a photoshopped photo as she doubled down on a series of baseless claims about the mass shooting at a 4 July parade in Highland Park, Illinois.
The Georgia representative, a first-term congresswoman who is known for promoting outlandish conspiracy theories, began her bizarre assertions hours after the shooting on Monday when she suggested that suspected gunman Robert Crimo’s rampage could be blamed on illicit drug abuse or the side effects of commonly-used antidepressants.
Despite a lack of publicly available evidence indicating Mr Crimo was a drug user of any sort, Ms Greene took to Twitter late on Monday to say anyone not buying into her claims was part of a coverup on behalf of the pharmaceutical industry.
My colleague Andrew Feinberg reports:
Namita Singh6 July 2022 10:00
‘I knew she was dead’: Survivor recalls leaving dead mother and running to safety
Recalling the moment she saw her mother killed right in front of her, Cassie Goldstein, 22, said she was forced to leave her dead mother and run to safety.
“I was standing there with my mom, and I heard what I thought were firecrackers firing into the street across from me. And then I looked up and I saw the shooter shooting down at the kids,” Ms Goldstein told NBC New Tuesday.
“And I told her that it was a shooter and that she had to run.”
They were running side to side when her mother, Katherine Goldstein, 64, was hit by a bullet in the chest and fell to the ground.
“I knew she was dead,” she said. “I just told her that I loved her, but I couldn’t stop, because he was still shooting everyone next to me.”
She told the outlet that she “kept running” and “hid behind a trash can”.
Her mother was among the seven people killed in the mass shooting during a 4 July parade. “She was just a good mom. And I got 22 years with her. And I got to have 22 years with the best mom in the world.”
Namita Singh6 July 2022 09:45
Kamala Harris offered condolences to Highland Park shooting victims
Vice president Kamala Harris on Tuesday evening visited the site of the shooting, offering condolences to first responders and local officials. The vice president was already in Chicago to address the National Education Association’s annual meeting.
“The whole nation should understand and have a level of empathy, to understand that this can happen anywhere, in any peace loving community,” Ms Harris said in brief comments to reporters in Highland Park.
“And we should stand together and speak out about why it’s got to stop.”
Namita Singh6 July 2022 09:30
‘Preliminary examination of internet history indicated Crimo researched mass killings’
Federal agents reviewing Robert Crimo’s online profiles, in a preliminary examination of his internet history, found that he had researched mass killings. He had downloaded multiple photos depicting violent acts, including a beheading, a law enforcement official said.
The official could not discuss details of the investigation publicly and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.
Namita Singh6 July 2022 09:15
Parents of boy, 2, found alone at parade shooting among dead
Aiden McCarthy’s photo was shared across Chicago-area social media groups in the hours after the 4 July parade shooting in Highland Park, accompanied by pleas to help identify the two-year-old who had been found at the scene bloodied and alone and to reunite him with his family.
On Tuesday, friends and authorities confirmed that the boy’s parents, Kevin McCarthy, 37, and Irina McCarthy, 35, were among seven people killed in the tragedy.
“At two years old, Aiden is left in the unthinkable position; to grow up without his parents,” wrote Irina Colon on a GoFundMe account she created for the family and Aiden, who was reunited with his grandparents Monday evening.
My colleague Rachel Sharp reports:
Namita Singh6 July 2022 09:00
The Highland Park mass shooting and the motive we can never address
Congress can’t ban internet subcultures, nor can law enforcement police the speech of even the most alienated and disturbed of young men. And that’s just the beginning of the problem, writes Andrew Feinberg.
Namita Singh6 July 2022 08:45
Crimo passed four background checks ahead of gun purchase despite threats of violence and suicide
Three months after Robert Crimo threatened to “kill everyone” in his home, he applied for his first Firearm Owners Identification (FOID) card, under his father’s sponsorship.
But because no firearm restraining order or other court action against Mr Crimo had ever been sought, “there was insufficient basis to establish a clear and present danger and deny the FOID application,” state police said.
Mr Crimo passed four background checks in the purchase of his guns, all of them conducted in 2020 and 2021, well after the 2019 incidents that drew police attention, according to the state police.
State police said the only offence detected in Mr Crimo’s criminal history during background checks was for unlawful possession of tobacco in 2016, and that “no mental health prohibiter reports” from healthcare providers ever surfaced.
The state police said that when officers who visited the family’s home over the alleged threats Mr Crimo made in September 2019, they asked him “if he felt like harming himself or others,” and that “he responded ‘no’.”
“Additionally and importantly, the father claimed the knives were his and they were being stored in (his son’s) closet for safekeeping,” state police said. “Based upon that information, the Highland Park Police returned the knives to the father later that afternoon.”
Namita Singh6 July 2022 08:30
Highland Park shooting suspect slipped past Illinois ‘red flag’ safeguard
The man charged with killing seven people at a Chicago-area July Fourth parade slipped past the safeguards of an Illinois “red flag” law designed to prevent people deemed to have violent tendencies from getting guns, officials revealed on Tuesday.
The disclosures raised questions about the adequacy of the state’s “red flag” laws even as a prosecutor lauded the system as “strong” during a news conference announcing seven first-degree murder charges against the 21-year-old suspect, Robert E Crimo.
Sergeant Chris Covelli of the Lake County Sheriff’s Office said earlier in the day that Mr Crimo had legally purchased a total of five guns, including the suspected murder weapon, despite having come to law enforcement’s attention twice for behavior suggesting he might harm himself or others.
The first instance was an April 2019 emergency-911 call reporting Mr Crimo had attempted suicide, followed in September of that year by a police visit regarding alleged threats “to kill everyone” that he had directed at family members, Mr Covelli said.
According to Mr Covelli, police responding to the second incident seized a collection of 16 knives, a dagger and a sword from Mr Crimo’s home in Highland Park, Illinois, the Chicago suburb where the shooting occurred on Monday. But no arrest was made as authorities at the time lacked probable cause to take him into custody, the sheriff’s sergeant said.
Namita Singh6 July 2022 08:10
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism