July 4 Shooting Suspect Planned 2nd Massacre, Reveals Why He Aborted at Last Minute, Police Say
The man who allegedly killed seven people and wounded dozens more at a Fourth of July parade in Highland Park, Illinois, said he thought about a second mass shooting but ultimately decided not to carry it out, authorities said Wednesday.
According to ABC News, authorities said Robert Crimo III told them he “was driving around, saw a celebration in Madison,” Wisconsin, and “contemplated another attack.”
He reportedly had 60 rounds of ammo at that time.
However, the alleged killer said he decided he “had not done enough planning” to carry out the attack, according to authorities.
Crimo eventually drove back to Lake Forest, Illinois, where police arrested him during a traffic stop on Monday evening.
“We are deeply troubled to learn the suspected Illinois parade shooter considered carrying out another attack here,” Madison Police Chief Shon Barnes said in a statement, according to ABC News.
“Mass shootings are far too common in our country,” Barnes said. “The Madison Police Department has recognized this concern for years, has trained for these incidents and has adjusted our staffing of large events accordingly.”
In a news briefing on Wednesday, the chief said he was “thankful that no innocent lives were taken from our city.”
According to The New York Times, Crimo allegedly opened fire with a “high-powered rifle” from a rooftop in Highland Park during the parade on Monday. Highland Park has a ban on so-called assault weapons, but that did not deter the shooter.
Lake County Sheriff’s Deputy Chief Christopher Covelli said a motive for the shooting had not become clear.
Following the alleged killings, Crimo reportedly dressed in women’s clothing to disguise himself, the Times reported. He joined the crowd in his disguise and walked to his mother’s home, where he borrowed her car and drove to Madison, about 140 miles away.
Covelli said that is when Crimo contemplated an attack at another Fourth of July celebration in Madison. Thankfully, that attack never took place.
On Tuesday, the 21-year-old was charged with seven counts of first-degree murder, the Times reported. If convicted, he faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Lake County State’s Attorney Eric F. Rinehart said Crimo would likely face more charges relating to the dozens of others he allegedly injured in the shooting.
Prosecutors said he confessed to the Highland Park massacre during a Zoom court appearance on Wednesday, ABC News reported.
ABC News also reported the Illinois State Police on Wednesday announced plans to investigate Crimo’s father, Robert Crimo Jr., “because he sponsored his son’s application for a firearm owner identification card in 2019.”
“I had no — not an inkling, warning — that this was going to happen,” the elder Crimo told ABC News of his son’s attack. “I am just shocked.”
However, authorities suggested there were warning signs about the young man’s potential for violence.
For example, Highland Park police responded to a call in 2019 at Crimo’s home after a family member said he threatened to “kill everyone.” Upon arrival, police confiscated 16 knives, a dagger and a sword from the home.
“Making threats to the family … I think [that was] taken out of context,” the alleged shooter’s father said of the 2019 incident.
“It’s like just a child’s outburst, whatever he was upset about, and I think his sister called the police — I wasn’t living there.”
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