Robert Crimo, the Highland Park shooting suspect, escaped dressed as a woman after killing seven and injuring several others during a mass shootout at Fourth of July Parade. The 21-year-old is charged with seven counts of first-degree murder, Lake County State's Attorney Eric Rinehart announced during a news conference Tuesday evening.
If convicted, the charges could lead to a mandatory life sentence, Rinehart said adding that more charges including attempted murder, aggravated discharge and aggravated battery charges are likely to be added.
Crimo Wore Woman's Dress, Wig to Escape
The Independent reported that Lake County Sgt Christopher Covelli said that Crimo was caught on a surveillance camera dressed in women's clothing so that he could blend into the crowd of panicked parade-goers fleeing from the scene of the massacre. The image which has surfaced on social media also shows Crimo dressed as a woman.
After firing a volley of more than 70 shots at the crowd from the roof top of a building, Crimo tried to blend in with the crowd as he moved towards his mother's home, the authorities claimed.
Crimo, who went on the shooting spree using an AR-15 style rifle, was armed when the cops arrested him. While a rifle was found in his car, the authorities also uncovered a stash of firearms including pistols from his home. "All the firearms were legally purchased across multiple locations in the nearby area and registered under his name," police said.
Crimo Had Threatened to Kill His Family Members
The New York Post reported that Crimo had threatened to commit suicide and kill his family members earlier. In the incident which took place in April 2019, law enforcement authorities were called in to the shooting suspect's home after he threatened to commit suicide.
"Officers spoke to Crimo and his parents, but the matter was handled by mental-health professionals at time. There was no law-enforcement action to be taken. It was a mental-health issue handled by those professionals," said Lake County Major Crime Task Force spokesman Christopher Covelli, during a press conference.
It was further reported that Crimo made deadly threats against his relative in September 2019. The matter was reported to the cops. "A family member reported that Crimo said he was going to kill everyone and Crimo had a collection of knives," Covelli said. "The police responded to his residence. The police removed 16 knives, a dagger and a sword from Crimo's home."