July 4 shooter charged with seven counts of murder

Prosecutors said a 21-year-old man who allegedly opened fire at a July 4 parade in an affluent Chicago suburb while dressed as women was charged Tuesday with seven counts of first-degree murder.

Robert Crimo, 21, was arrested on Monday, hours after attacking an Independence Day celebratory crowd.

“There will be more charges,” Lake County State Attorney Eric Rinehart told reporters. “We expect dozens more charges against each of the victims.”

Police spokesman Christopher Covelli said the death toll rose to seven on Tuesday after one of the injured died in hospital. More than 35 people were injured.

Among the dead were 37-year-old Kevin McCarthy and his 35-year-old wife, Irina, the parents of a two-year-old boy who was found wandering alone after the shooting, according to CBS News.

Covelli said the motive for the attack had not been established, causing panicked parade participants to flee for their lives.

“We believe that Crimo planned this attack weeks in advance,” and that he acted alone, he said.

“We have no information to suggest that at this point it was motivated by race, religion or any other protected status,” he added.

He said Crimo had had mental health issues and threatening behavior in the past.

According to him, in 2019, the police were called twice to Krimo’s house: once to investigate a suicide attempt, and the second time because a relative said he threatened to “kill everyone” in the family.

According to him, the police seized 16 knives, a dagger and a sword from the house, but did not arrest anyone.

Covelli said Crimo used a fire escape to get to the roof of a building overlooking the parade route and fired more than 70 rounds from a rifle “like an AR-15,” one of several weapons he legally acquired.

“Kraimo was dressed in women’s clothing, and investigators believe he did this to hide his facial tattoos and his identity, as well as to help him during his escape along with other people fleeing the chaos,” he said.

“Still Reeling”

Covelli said that after the shooting, Crimo went to his mother’s nearby house and borrowed her car. He was captured about eight hours later after a short chase.

He also said authorities were investigating disturbing online posts and videos made by Krimo.

The shooting shocked the prestigious suburb.

“We’re still in shock,” Mayor Nancy Rothering said on NBC’s Today program. “Everyone knows someone who has been directly affected by this.”

The mayor said she personally knew the suspected shooter when he was a young boy in Cub Scouts.

“How did someone become so evil, so hateful, and then take it out on innocent people who were literally just having a family day?” Rotation asked.

Crimo, whose father ran unsuccessfully for mayor and owns Bob’s Pantry and Deli in Highland Park, was an amateur musician who called himself “Wake Up the Rapper.”

The younger Krimo’s online posts contain scenes of violence hinting at guns and gunfire.

One YouTube video posted eight months ago featured cartoons of a shooter shooting and people being shot.

“I just need to do it,” says the voice-over.

He adds: “This is my destiny. Everything led to it. Nothing can stop me, not even myself.”

Krimo, who has the word “Awake” tattooed above his eyebrow, is shown wearing an FBI cap in multiple photos, and one with a Trump flag as a cape.

The shootings are the latest wave of gun violence sweeping the United States, where around 40,000 people die each year, according to the Archive of Gun Violence.

“An epidemic of gun violence”

Deep divisions over gun control were rekindled by two massacres in May, when 10 blacks were gunned down in an upstate New York supermarket and 19 children and two teachers were killed at an elementary school in Texas.

Deputy President Kamala Harriswho was in Chicago on Tuesday for a summit of the nation’s largest teacher union, said the Texas shooting was a reminder “of the risks our children and our educators face every day” and renewed his call for Congress to ban assault weapons. .

Speaking later at the scene of the Highland Park shooting, Harris said, “The whole nation needs to understand that this can happen anywhere, in any peace-loving community.”

The shooting in Highland Park has overshadowed Independence Day, with cities across the United States holding parades and people attending barbecues, sporting events and fireworks displays.

Another shooting on July 4 injured two police officers when they came under fire during fireworks in Philadelphia, officials said.

In Highland Park, Emily Prazak, who participated in the parade, described the mayhem.

“We heard pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, and I thought it was fireworks,” Prazak said.

Cassie Goldstein, another survivor of the attack, told local media that she saw her mother die as they fled the shooting.

“I ran with her, we were close and he shot her in the chest and she fell and I knew she was dead,” the 22-year-old told NBC News.

“So I just told her that I love her, but I couldn’t stop because he was still shooting at everyone around me.”

President Joe Biden vowed to continue fighting the “epidemic of gun violence.”

Last week, he signed into law the first major federal gun safety law in decades, just days after the Supreme Court ruled that Americans have a fundamental right to carry a gun in public.

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