Melissa Espana, Sam Charles, Ben Bradley
HIGHLAND PARK, Ill. — The gunman accused of fatally shooting seven and wounding over 30 people at a Highland Park Fourth of July parade wore a disguise and blended into the crowd he fired upon before he fled the scene and was eventually caught by police.
At a news conference Tuesday morning, Christopher Covelli, Lake County Major Crime Task Force spokesman, said 21-year-old Robert “Bobby” Crimo III legally purchased the weapon used in the mass shooting. Crimo was arrested about eight hours after police said he opened fire during the holiday event. A second gun was found in his car following his arrest.
Police said he had planned the attack for weeks and on Monday, was able to access the roof of a business near the parade route and fired over 70 rounds into a panicking crowd.
The downtown parade was disrupted around 10:10 a.m. after shots were fired near Central Avenue and 2nd Street.
Officials said Crimo was wearing a dress and long-haired wig — possibly to hide his distinctive neck and face tattoos — and was able to blend into the crowd, posing as a bystander. After the shooting, he went to his mother’s home where he took her car and left the area. He was caught after someone recognized him and phoned North Chicago police.
WGN Investigates has obtained an image of the suspected parade …
Officials said there was no indication that anyone else acted with him. A motive is currently unknown and charges are still pending.
Covelli addressed rumors that the gunman was targeting the suburb’s large Jewish population and said there is currently no indication that the shooting was racially charged or targeted toward any marginalized group.
Videos that appeared to have been posted online by Crimo are under investigation by police.
No children were killed in the shooting, according to Covelli. All those who were hospitalized were wounded by gunfire.
The NorthShore Hospital group received 38 patients, including at least four to five children. Additionally, Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest said they received nine patients, with six having gunshot wounds.
In an earlier press conference Monday, NorthShore said 19 victims were been treated and released and the total age ranges were from eight to 85 years old. One of the children who were injured had to be airlifted to Comer Children’s Hospital in Chicago.
At this time, the exact total number of shooting victims in the incident is unknown. It was confirmed Tuesday that a seventh person had died from the shooting.
On Monday, police addressed rumors that were circulating throughout social media and said there is no indication that the gunman was barricaded or had hostages.
Several suburban firework events were canceled following the shooting.
Anyone with any information, or anyone with video, is urged to call Highland Park police at 847-432-7730 or you can submit a tip to fbi.gov/highlandpark.