The man accused of shooting up a July 4 parade was charged Tuesday with seven counts of first-degree murder.
Robert Crimo III killed seven people and wounded dozens more, authorities say. He was hit with the murder raps “for the killing spree that he has unleashed against our community,” Lake County State’s Attorney Eric Rinehart announced.
“These are just the first of many charges that will be filed against Mr. Crimo,” Rinehart said. “There will be dozens of more charges against Mr. Crimo.”
Crimo, who officials believe had been planning the attack for weeks, allegedly perched on top of a rooftop and fired more than 70 shots into the parade crowd Monday afternoon.
He fled dressed as a woman and covered up his face tattoos, Lake County Major Crime Task Force spokesman Christopher Covelli said Tuesday.
He was taken into custody without incident after a traffic stop Monday evening, hours after the shooting.
A gun found on the rooftop, presumed to be the weapon used in the shooting, was legally purchased, Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering said Tuesday. Investigators used that rifle to tie Crimo to the crime, Covelli added later.
“I don’t know where the gun came from, but I do know that it was legally obtained,” Rotering said on “Today.”
“I think at some point, this nation needs to have a conversation about these weekly events involving the murder of dozens of people with legally obtained guns. If that’s what our laws stand for, we need to re-examine the laws.”
Rinehart, the local prosecutor, echoed that statement at Tuesday evening’s press conference, calling for a return of a nationwide assault weapons ban.
“We should also ban assault weapons in Illinois and beyond,” he said. “The assault weapon ban was implemented in 1994 with bipartisan support and with the support of law enforcement. It lasted for 10 years, and studies have shown that mass shootings like what happened yesterday went down during those 10 years.”
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Online, Crimo left a trail of violent imagery, a since-deleted YouTube account with a video that showed him draped in an American flag after a school shooting and another in which an armed cartoon man wearing a shirt with his YouTube channel’s logo on it is shot by police, according to NBC. In a Discord server and in other corners of the internet, he shared “nihilistic political memes” and videos of beheadings.
He also shared photos and videos of himself at former President Donald Trump rallies.
Authorities said Tuesday that despite Crimo talking with investigators, there was still “no definitive motive” for the ruthless attack.