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Suspect in Highland Park shooting is believed to be the second attack in Wisconsin, police say.


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Lucy Barajas hugs Elvia Toledo, niece of Nicholas Toledo, who was killed during a parade in Highland Park on Monday, Illinois on the Fourth of July, during Wednesday’s vigil in Highwood, Illinois.

Charles Rex Arbogast / AP

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Charles Rex Arbogast / AP

Lucy Barajas hugs Elvia Toledo, niece of Nicholas Toledo, who was killed during a parade in Highland Park on Monday, Illinois on the Fourth of July, during Wednesday’s vigil in Highwood, Illinois.

Charles Rex Arbogast / AP

HIGHLAND PARK, Illinois. A man accused of killing seven people at an Independence Day parade admitted to police that he fired a hail of bullets from a rooftop in a suburb of Chicago and then fled to Madison, Wisconsin, where he was about to shoot. event there, authorities said on Wednesday.

The suspect returned to Illinois, where he was later arrested, after deciding he wasn’t ready to commit another attack in Wisconsin, Lake County Major Crime Task Force spokesman Christopher Covelli said at a press conference following a hearing in which the 21-year-old. .. the old man was denied bail.

The shooting at the parade has shocked yet another American community, this time rich Highland Park, home to about 30,000 people on the shores of Lake Michigan. More than two dozen people were injured, some in critical condition, hundreds of marchers, parents and children fled in panic.

Covelli said it didn’t look like the suspect was planning another attack in Wisconsin, but went into hiding there, saw another Independence Day celebration, and was “seriously considering” shooting him. According to Covelli, the assailant threw away a semi-automatic rifle he had used in Illinois, but he had another similar rifle and about 60 more rounds of ammunition.

Police later found his phone in Middleton, Wisconsin, about 135 miles from Highland Park.

Hours before his arrest, police warned that the shooter was still at large and should be considered armed and dangerous. Several nearby cities have canceled events, including parades and fireworks displays. Most of the celebrations in and around the Wisconsin capital took place.

Madison Police Chief Sean Barnes said at a press conference on Wednesday that the FBI urged the department on Monday night to prepare its SWAT team as investigators believed the shooter might be in the area. Barnes said he was not warned at the time that the shooter was considering further attacks.

Lake County Assistant State Attorney Ben Dillon said in court that the shooter climbed the building’s fire escape over the Highland Park parade, “looked through the scope, took aim” and opened fire at people across the street. He left shell casings with 83 bullets and three magazines with ammunition on the roof. According to police, he initially avoided arrest by disguising himself as a woman and mingling with the fleeing crowd.

Some of those injured remain hospitalized in critical condition, Covelli said, and the death toll could rise. Already as a result of the shooting, a 2-year-old boy was left without parents, families mourned the loss of beloved grandparents, and the synagogue mourned the death of a parishioner who also worked in the state for decades.

Lake County State’s Attorney Eric Rinehart said he plans to charge each victim with attempted murder and aggravated battery.

“Many, many more charges will be brought,” he said at a press conference, suggesting those charges would be announced later this month.

Neighborhood residents attend Wednesday a memorial to the seven people who died in Highland Park, Illinois, during the Fourth of July mass shooting.

Charles Rex Arbogast / AP

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Charles Rex Arbogast / AP

Neighborhood residents attend Wednesday a memorial to the seven people who died in Highland Park, Illinois, during the Fourth of July mass shooting.

Charles Rex Arbogast / AP

If convicted of first-degree murder, the shooter will receive a mandatory life sentence without the possibility of parole.

The suspect, Robert Crimo III, was wearing a long-sleeved black shirt when he appeared in court on video.
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As the prosecutor described the shooting, he didn’t say much to the judge other than that he didn’t have a lawyer.

On Tuesday, Thomas A. Durkin, a prominent Chicago lawyer, said he would represent Crimo and intends to plead not guilty to all charges. But Durkin told the court on Wednesday that he has a conflict of interest in the case. Crimo was appointed public defender.

Rinehart also left open the possibility of filing charges against Krimo’s parents, telling reporters he “doesn’t want to answer” the question right now as the investigation continues.

Steve Greenberg, an attorney for Crimo’s parents, told The Associated Press that the parents are not concerned about being charged with anything related to their son’s case.

Questions have also been raised about how the suspect could circumvent Illinois’ relatively strict gun laws to legally acquire five weapons, including the high-powered rifle used in the shooting, despite being called home twice by authorities in 2019 due to threats of violence and suicide.

The police went to the house after a call from a family member who said Crimo had threatened to “kill everyone”. Covelli said police confiscated 16 knives, a dagger and a sword, but said there was no indication at the time in September 2019 that he was in possession of any weapons. Police in April 2019 also responded to reports of Crimo’s suicide attempt, Covelli said.

Illinois State Police, which issues licenses to gun owners, said Crimo applied for a license in December 2019, when he was 19 years old. His application was sponsored by his father and, according to Covelli, he bought semi-automatic rifles in 2020.

In total, according to police, he bought five firearms that officers seized at his father’s house. He bought four guns when he was under 21 and bought a fifth after his birthday last year.

The revelations about his arms purchases are just the latest example of young men who in recent months have been able to obtain weapons and carry out massacres despite clear warning signs of their mental health and violent tendencies.

The state police defended the way the application was handled, stating that at the time “there were not sufficient grounds to establish a clear and present danger” and deny the application, the state police said in a statement.

Covelli said investigators who questioned the suspect and reviewed his social media posts did not determine a motive and found no indication that he targeted the victims based on race, religion, or other protected status.

In 2013, Highland Park officials approved a ban on semi-automatic weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines. The local doctor and the Illinois State Rifle Association quickly challenged the liberal suburb’s position. The legal battle ended on the doorstep of the U.S. Supreme Court in 2015 when judges declined to hear the case and upheld the suburban restrictions.

Asked if the Crimo case demonstrates flaws in state law, Rinehart said “the gap in state gun laws is that we don’t ban assault weapons.”

Pursuant to Illinois law, gun purchases may be denied to individuals who have been convicted of a felony, are drug addicts, or who are deemed capable of harming themselves or others. This last condition may have prevented a suicidal Crimo from obtaining a weapon.

But by law, the decision as to who the provision applies to must be decided by “a court, council, commission, or other legal body.”

The state has a so-called red flag law designed to stop dangerous people before they kill, but it requires family members, relatives, roommates, or the police to ask a judge to order a gun to be seized.

Crimo, whose name is Bobby, was an aspiring rapper with the stage name Awake the Rapper who posted dozens of videos and songs on social media, some of which were sinister and violent.

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