Highland Park shooter Robert ‘Bobby’ Crimo III, 21, has been charged by the Illinois State’s Attorney’s office with seven counts of first-degree murder.
The charges were announced in a press conference by the Lake County State’s Attorney Eric Rinehart the day after the July 4 parade shooting that claimed the lives of seven people and injured dozens more.
Each charge carries a maximum sentence of life in prison without the chance of parole
In his remarks, Rinehart said that Crimo could be facing nearly a dozen further charges, including assault and attempted murder.
He said: ‘These are the first of many charges.’
During the press conference, Rinehart did not speculate on the motive for the shooting.
The attorney did praise red flag laws and called for a nationwide ban on assault rifles.
He added that when Crimo makes his first appearance in court via Zoom on July 6, prosecutors will be asking for the suspect to be held without bail.
The suspect is being represented by high-profile defense attorney Thomas Durkin.
Durkin told DailyMail.com that he was first contacted by the suspect’s family on the day of the shooting and retained the following day.
He added that he did not have any further knowledge about the shooting other than what is already in the public domain.
Police at first said that Crimo was not known to them but on Tuesday, they revealed he was interviewed twice by authorities in 2019.
The first was in April 2019 a week after he threatened to kill himself. The second was in September 2019, after he threatened to ‘kill everyone’ in his family.
Police recovered 16 knives, a dagger and sword from his home but he was not arrested.
Instead, he was able to turn 21 and buy two assault rifles in Illinois, along with three other types of gun. It remains unclear why the two previous incidents were not flagged when he legally purchased the weapons.
Chris Covelli of the Lake County Sheriff’s Office disclosed the prior incidents at a press conference on Tuesday afternoon.
In the April 2019 incident, ‘an individual contacted Highland Park department a week after learning of him attempting to suicide. It was a delayed report.
‘They responded to the residence, spoke to him, his parents and the matter was being handled with the mental health profession. There was no law enforcement action to be taken.
‘In September 2019, a family remember reported that he said he was going to “kill everyone” and that he had a collection of knives. They responded and took 16 knives and a dagger from his home.
‘There was no probable cause to arrest and no complaints assigned by the victims. They did notify the Illinois State Police.’
Crimo is also accused of ‘sizing up’ the Central Avenue Synagogue in Highland Park, Illinois, according to the Times of Israel.
Rabbi Yosef Schanowitz is quoted by the website as saying that he recognized the suspect from an incident that occurred in April 2022. The rabbi said: ‘During the last Passover holiday, that person entered the Chabad synagogue. We have an armed security guard sitting in front… I approached him and sternly asked him to leave as I noticed he was not a member of our community.’
In a separate interview with Forward.com, the congregation’s head of security Martin Blumenthal said of Crimo: ‘He was definitely sizing up the synagogue.’
Blumenthal said that Crimo was wearing all black clothes and black gloves ‘in the goth style.’ The head of security said that he checked Crimo’s backpack for weapons but didn’t find any.
He added: ‘He said his name was Bobby and he lived in the neighborhood. I watched him the whole time.’ Blumenthal added that Crimo then left on his bike.
Six of the seven people that were killed in the shooting have been named. They are Steve Straus, 88; Katherine Baldstein, 64; Jacki Sondheim, 63; Nicholas Toledo Zaragoza, 78; and husband and wife Irina and Kevin McCarthy, 35 and 37.
After the attack Monday, he fled among frightened paradegoers, pretending to be one of the victims, and went to his mother’s house.
Police said they do not think she knew that he was the shooter when he asked her for her car. She gave it to him and he fled the area.
It comes as questions over the gunman’s motive, lifestyle and his obsession with the numbers 47 arise.
Crimo had a 47 tattoo on his cheek and the numbers are emblazoned on the side of a car.
The vehicle was left abandoned in the front yard of his home on Tuesday, after it was raided by FBI agents. Crimo also posted the number all over his social media accounts, where he also shared ominous rap videos that glamorized school shootings.
On Tuesday morning, Mayor Nancy Rotering confirmed that Crimo ‘legally obtained’ his weapon. She said she taught him when he was a cub scout, and that he was a normal ‘little boy’. Police are yet to confirm what type of weapon he used.