Bail was denied Wednesday for the Highland Park mass shooting suspect as prosecutors disclosed that Robert Crimo III has confessed to firing more than 80 shots from a rooftop during the July 4 parade, then apparently fled to Wisconsin with plans of shooting more people.
Lake County Major Crimes Task Force spokesman Christopher Covelli said Crimo went to the Madisonarea intending to commit another mass shooting after just killing seven people and wounding dozens of others in Highland Park on Monday.
But Crimo turned back, dumped his cellphone in Middleton, Wis. and was arrested after being spotted by a North Chicago police officer in the evening, Covelli said.
The disclosure came after Assistant State’s Atty. Ben Dillon told a judge during a bond hearing that Crimo, 21, has made “a voluntary statement confessing to his actions.”
Wearing a black collarless T-shirt that showed a tattoo of a rose winding around his neck, Crimo was silent for most of the hearing and showed no reaction as Dillion recited the names of the seven victims and described the scene from Monday’s mass shooting.
Dillion said Crimo admitted that he took a position on the roof of a building overlooking the parade route and “looked down his sights and opened fire.” Crimo fired a 30-round magazine, then fired two more. Police found 83 shell casings on the roof, Dillion said.
Five people died at the scene, and a sixth died later at a hospital. A seventh victim died Tuesday afternoon. In all, more than two dozen people were hit by gunfire, Dillon said.
Crimo faces seven counts of first-degree murder, the first of what Lake County State’s Attorney Eric Rinehart said would be “dozens” more charges filed against Crimo from Monday’s shooting.
Rinehart announced the charges Tuesday, a few hours after Lake County Coroner Jennifer Banek released the names of six of the people who died: Katherine Goldstein, 64; Irina McCarthy, 35; Kevin McCarthy, 37; Jacqueline Sundheim, 63; Stephen Straus, 88, all of Highland Park, and Nicolas Toledo, 78, of Morelos, Mexico.
On Wednesday, the Cook County medical examiner released the name of the seventh victim, 69-year-old Eduardo Uvaldo of Waukegan. He died at Evanston Hospital.
During Wednesday’s bond hearing, Dillon disclosed new details of the shooting based on witness accounts and Crimo’s alleged statement.
On the day of the attack, Crimo dressed in women’s clothes and wore makeup to disguise himself and hide his tattoos because he feared he would be recognized. After firing off nearly all of the ammunition he had, Crimo climbed back down and ran away, but dropped the rifle as he fled, Dillon said.
The gun was traced to Crimo within an hour. It had been legally bought by Crimo in 2020 when he was 19. Authorities say his father had to sponsor him to get a Firearm Owners Identification card because the age limit is 21.
Despite his disguise, police officers who “were familiar” with Crimo were able to identify him in still images taken from surveillance cameras, Dillon said.
Crimo went to his mother’s house nearby and took off in her car as police launched a manhunt and neighboring towns canceled their Independence Day festivities, police say.
Crimo drove as far away as Madison, Wis. and was finally spotted Monday evening in North Chicago, about eight hours after the shooting. He was arrested around 6:30 p.m. after a short chase at an intersection about 10 miles from the shooting.
Rinehart said the investigation remains active, and asked for witnesses and anyone with video from the shooting to come forward.
Crimo has no prior criminal record in Cook or Lake counties. But officers twice visited his home in 2019 to investigate calls from family members, according to police.
The first time was in April 2019, in response to a report of a suicide attempt by Crimo. Then in September of that year, a family member called to report Crimo had threatened to “kill everybody” and that he had a large collection of knives.
Police took 16 knives, a dagger and a sword from the home and filed a “clear and present danger report” with the Illinois State Police.
Nevertheless, the state police issued a Firearm Owners Identification card to Crimo in January 202 when he was 19. He was too young to get a card on his own (the minimum age in Illinois is 21), so his father sponsored him, which is allowed under state law.
Police recovered five weapons in all from Crimo, including the rifle recovered at the scene and a second one found in his car at the time of his arrest. Several handguns were found in his home, all purchased legally from sellers in Illinois, police said.