A few hours after a shooterduring a July 4 suburban parade in Highland Park, Illinois, killing seven and injuring two dozen, police arrested 21-year-old Robert Crimo III. Crimo, known as Bobby, was with seven counts of first degree murder.
Lake County State’s Attorney Eric Rinehart said Wednesday that Crimo admitted shooting.
“His statement was voluntary. He was interviewed at the Highland Park Police Department. He was read his Miranda warnings, offered lawyers, etc. He went into detail about what he had done. He admitted what he had done,” Rinehart said. .
Investigators say the gunman fired at parade-goers from a rooftop around 10.15am as the community celebrated Independence Day. A high-powered rifle, “similar to an AR-15”, was recovered from the scene, police said. The suspect was first described as a young white male with long black hair.
Lake County Major Crimes Task Force Deputy Chief Chris Covelli told a press conference Tuesday that investigators believe the suspect was dressed in women’s clothing during the shooting “in an attempt to to hide”.
Covelli said investigators were able to identify Crimo through a combination of video and time-lapse tracing of the rifle recovered by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives that linked him to the suspect.
After the shooting, it is believed he blended into the crowd and drove to his mother’s house, eventually leaving in a Honda Fit.
Covelli said he then drove to Madison, Wis., and “seriously considered using the firearm he had in his vehicle to commit another shooting” during a celebration that he had seen there, before returning to the Chicago area.
It wasMonday night, after someone spotted the Honda Fit in a nearby suburb, called 911, and police pulled him over. Another rifle was recovered from the car, Covelli said, along with other firearms from his home. Covelli said the weapons were purchased legally by Crimo in the Chicago area.
On Monday afternoon, police and the FBI surrounded the family home in Highwood, just north of Highland Park. Neighbors told CBS Chicago that Crimo lived there with his father and uncle. His uncle said Crimo stayed in a back apartment.
Her father, a deli owner, ran unsuccessfully for mayor of Highland Park in 2019.
Paul, Crimo’s unclehe was “heartbroken” by the attack.
“I can’t even believe it right now. (I) pray for all the families and for everyone who has been hurt and hurt,” he said.
He also said he hadn’t noticed any signs that his nephew might commit acts of violence.
“There was no indication,” he said.. “There was no indication that I saw at all that would lead to this.”
But police then detailed two past incidents when concerns were raised.
“There was contact with law enforcement. Nothing violent,” Covelli said Monday.
Covelli explained those contacts during a Tuesday afternoon briefing. He said in April 2019 a person contacted Highland Park Police after learning that Crimo had attempted to take his own life. Police responded to his home, but the situation was already being handled by mental health professionals and was not considered a police matter at the time.
In September 2019, a family member reported that the suspect said he was going to “kill everyone”. Police responded to his residence and removed 16 knives, a dagger and a sword from the residence, but, Covelli said, there was no probable reason to arrest him. Illinois State Police were notified of the incident at the time.
Months after these incidents, he was allowed to obtain a gun owner’s identification card. His father signed a consent form allowing him to purchase at least one gun.
Illinois has awhich allows weapons to be removed from someone in distress, but the suspect did not possess weapons at the time, and CBS News correspondent Kris Van Cleave reports that the system has no way of track complaints about people who are not already in this system.
that in late April, there was a brief incident involving Crimo at the Central Avenue Synagogue, not far from the scene of Monday’s attack. A man who works security for the congregation said he saw Crimo enter during Saturday morning services. Dressed in all black leather, wearing gloves and a backpack, he quickly caught the attention of the synagogue’s security team.
“The thought crossed my mind that he may be filming the location,” said Marty Blumenthal, who said he now believed that was why the suspect was the.
Blumenthal said several staff members checked Crimo’s bag for weapons, which he did not have, and he left after about 45 minutes.
Crimo also went by the stage name Awake the Rapper and posted content online that contained violent imagery. On a now-deleted YouTube page, some of his videos featured his hometown, and others included animated scenes of gun violence. In a video that depicts gun violence, he can be heard saying, “I have to go now. I just have to. It’s my destiny.”
Covelli said investigators were “reviewing” those videos, but said the reason for the shooting was unclear.
“At this point we haven’t developed any motivation from him,” Covelli said.
Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering said in an interview with “CBS Mornings” on Tuesday that she knew Crimo as a child.
“I was his wolf pack leader. He was a little boy then. My heart breaks for everyone in this town,” Rotering said. “I don’t know what happened to him to compel him to commit this kind of evil in his hometown, but we have a town that is in deep mourning today and it’s going to take a long time to heal from all of this. “