US News

Highland Park shooter’s rooftop position made it difficult for officers to find him quickly as parade turned into chaos, police chief says

Concealed on a rooftop, the shooter opened fire with a semi-automatic rifle on paradegoers Monday along Highland Park’s Central Avenue. His position made it difficult for law enforcement to determine immediately the origin of the bursts of gunfire, according to Highland Park Police Chief Lou Jogmen.

“The noise was bouncing off the buildings. People were pointing in different directions,” Jogmen told CNN on Thursday in an interview.

In the panicked aftermath, authorities spent nearly eight hours hunting for the shooter, fearing he would resume his killing spree, Jogmen said.

“Was it a pause, was it a break?” Jogmen said, referring to some of the questions authorities faced during the frantic search. “Is this person intent on continuing until he ended his life? Is this a person that was looking for an escape?”

Robert E. Crimo III was taken into custody by police at a traffic stop that same day after being tipped off by what they described as “an alert member of the community.” He was charged with seven counts of first-degree murder, and additional charges are expected to be filed, prosecutors have said. He’s being held without bond.
In a voluntary statement, Crimo admitted to authorities that he emptied two 30-round magazines before loading his weapon with a third and firing again, Lake County Assistant State’s Attorney Ben Dillon said during a virtual bail hearing Wednesday.

If convicted, Crimo faces a life sentence in prison.

Meanwhile, the motive remains unclear four days later.

“That’s the first thing people want to know,” Jogmen said. “At this point, I don’t think I can give you a why based on what I’m hearing from my investigators. … We’d love to have that reason out there so people could process (it), but I’m not sure that we’re there yet.”

As investigators work to determine what led up to the shooting, the Highland community has been grieving the lives lost and those who were hurt in the attack.

Victims in recovery

Among the wounded is an 8-year-old boy, who is paralyzed from the waist down after undergoing multiple surgeries in the past few days.

Cooper Roberts attended the parade with his mother Keely and his twin brother Luke, who were also injured during the shooting, family spokesman Anthony Loizzi said Thursday during a news conference.

Cooper was shot in the chest, and his spinal cord was severed, Loizzi said. He was heavily sedated Thursday and was placed on a ventilator in critical but stable condition after undergoing to close his belly area.

“It’s going to be a new normal for him moving forward,” Loizzi said. “It sounds (like) he’ll have significant issues moving forward, especially with walking.”

Luke was hurt by shrapnel, and he was released from the hospital after treatment. Keely Roberts also underwent several surgeries after being shot in the leg and in the foot area, Loizzi said.

These are the lives lost from the July Fourth parade mass shooting

Meanwhile, a married couple who were injured during the shooting reunited at the hospital after the wife completed surgery, according to Samantha Whitehead, a friend to close to the family.

Stephen Kolpack was shot in the leg and released, but his wife Zoe suffered a shattered femur and recently got out of surgery, Whitehead said.

“It was just pure joy. Like you could just feel the love,” Whitehead told CNN. “I think you could just feel the relief out of both of them that … they’re gonna be OK. Their kids are gonna be OK. They just really are grateful. It’s like the best-case scenario out of a horrible, horrible situation.”

Whitehead, who described herself as Zoe’s best friend, has set up a GoFundMe to cover the family’s medical expenses.

Those who didn’t survive include Irina and Kevin McCarthy, ages 35 and 37, who were parents to a 2-year-old boy who was found alive at the shooting.

The other slain victims were Katherine Goldstein, 64, of Highland Park; Jacquelyn Sundheim, 63, of Highland Park; Stephen Straus, 88, of Highland Park; and Nicolas Toledo-Zaragoza, 78, of Morelos, Mexico, and Eduardo Uvaldo, 69, of Waukegan.

Law enforcement officers investigate after the shooting at Highland Park, Illinois, on July 4.

The shooter had run-ins with police

In April 2019, Highland Park police received a call that Crimo had tried to take his own life using a machete and mental health professionals handled the issue, according to a police report documenting the incident.

What we know about the Highland Park shooting suspect

A few months later, a relative reported in September 2019 that Crimo threatened family members that he would “kill everyone” and had a collection of bladed items in his closet, another police report shows. Police confiscated the collection, and the suspect’s father — Bobby Crimo Jr. — picked it up later that day at the police station.

Following that second report, Highland Park police submitted to the Illinois State Police a “Clear and Present Danger” about what happened, the police report shows.

No arrests were made during that incident because there were no signed complaints against Crimo. Family members were not willing to file additional complaints, the state police said.

Since those incidents, Crimo passed four background checks between June 2020 and September 2021 when buying firearms, which included checks of the federal National Instant Criminal Background Check System, state police said.

He legally bought five firearms, including rifles, pistols and possibly a shotgun, according to Lake County Major Crime Task Force Deputy Chief Chris Covelli.

Crimo’s application for a firearm owner’s identification card (FOID) was sponsored by his father because his son was under 21. It was not denied because there was “insufficient basis to establish a clear and present danger” at the time, state police said.

Lake County State’s Attorney Eric Rinehart told CNN on Thursday there is no criminal liability for sponsoring someone’s FOID and added the office is still going through evidence “in terms of who knew what when.”

“There’s different ways to look at potential criminal liability in this case,” Rinehart said. “There’s not a, per se, violation of law if you vouch for somebody in a FOID card and they end up doing something terrible like this. But, having said that, we are continuing to investigate the case and continuing to explore all options.”

CNN’s calls to Crimo Jr. have not been returned. Crimo Jr.’s attorney, Steve Greenberg, told CNN they would not be making any further public comments, “but the parents will continue to speak with law-enforcement and to assist them.”

CNN’s Adrienne Broaddus, Jason Kravarik and Joe Sutton contributed to this report.

 Source link

Back to top button
SoundCloud To Mp3