Update: The man charged with killing seven people when he shot at parade-watchers in Highland Park, Ill., confessed to police that he fired on the crowd, a prosecutor said Wednesday, though no plea has been entered in the case. Lake County Assistant State's Attorney Ben Dillon added that police recovered the shells of 83 bullets and three ammunition magazines on the rooftop where the gunman allegedly stationed himself. An Illinois judge ordered that he be held without bail, reports the AP. Lake County Major Crime Task Force rep Christopher Covelli on Wednesday also revealed the suspect fled to the Madison, Wis., area, in the shooting's aftermath and considered firing upon an event there, but instead returned to Illinois. Our original story from Tuesday follows:
A seventh victim of the Highland Park mass shooting died Tuesday—and the suspected gunman was charged with seven counts of first-degree murder. Lake County Coroner Jennifer Banek disclosed the names of six people who died at the scene or in hospitals in the county, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. They included Highland Park residents Katherine Goldstein, 64; Irina McCarthy, 35; Kevin McCarthy, 37; Jacqueline Sundheim, 63; Stephen Straus, 88. Nicolas Toledo, a 78-year-old from Morelos, Mexico who was reportedly reluctant to attend the parade, was also killed. Authorities have yet to release the name of the seventh victim.
Lake County State's Attorney Eric Rinehart said Tuesday that the suspect taken into custody Monday, 21-year-old Robert E. Crimo III, was charged with seven counts of first-degree murder for the "premeditated and calculated attack" on the Chicago suburb's Fourth of July parade, CBS reports. Rinehart said those were "just the first of many charges that will be filed," including numerous charges in connection with the dozens of injured survivors. He said that if the suspect is convicted on the murder charges, he will face a mandatory life sentence without the possibility of parole.
Christopher Covelli of the Lake County Major Crime Task Force said the suspect used a legally purchased rifle "similar to an AR-15" to fire on the crowd from the top of a building, the AP reports. Covelli said police went to the suspect's home in April 2019 after a reported suicide attempt and in September 2019 because a family member said he was threatening "to kill everyone.” Covelli said police confiscated 16 knives, a dagger, and a sword. According to Illinois state police, the suspect's father sponsored his application for a gun owners’ license in December 2019, when the suspect was 19 years old. (Read more Highland Park mass shooting stories.)