Highland Park suspect admits to deadly shooting, prosecutor says

Father says gunman purchased all the weapons himself

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The suspect charged with murdering seven people at the July 4 parade in the Chicago suburb of Highland Park has admitted to carrying out the attack, a prosecutor said.

In a news briefing after Robert Crimo III appeared in court on Wednesday, Illinois state attorney for Lake County said police questioned the suspect after apprehending him on Monday.

“He went into details about what he had done,” said Mr Rinehart. “He admitted to what he had done.”

Mr Crimo would face a mandatory life sentence without the possibility of parole if he is convicted of the first-degree murder charges.

Hours before the shooting took place, the suspect and his father, Robert Crimo Jr, discussed a shooting at a shopping mall in Denmark that left three people dead, the father told the New York Post.

He recalled his son calling the 22-year-old Danish shooter an “idiot” and said that those who commit mass shootings “amp up the people that want to ban all guns”.

The suspect legally purchased five guns, slipping past the state's “red flag” laws despite coming to the attention of police on two occasions over concerns he may hurt others or himself, Lake County Sheriff's office spokesman Sgt Chris Covelli said.

Kamala Harris visits Highland Park shooting site

That included a September 2019 incident when Mr Crimo said that he was going to “kill everyone” and admitted to being depressed. Police at the time confiscated 16 knives, one 30-centimetre dagger and a 60-cm “samurai type blade”, Illinois State Police said in a news release.

A lawyer for the suspect's parents said they are “1,000 per cent co-operative” with authorities.

“The parents share everyone’s desire to figure out everything that went wrong so that this doesn’t happen again, to more innocent people, children, and families,” said Steve Greenberg in a tweet.

Following the mass shootings in Highland Park, Buffalo and Uvalde, a US House of Representatives Committee invited chief executives of gunmakers Smith & Wesson Brands, Sturm and Ruger & Co to testify during a July 20 hearing.

“Products sold by your company have been used for decades to carry out homicides and even mass murders, yet your company has continued to market assault weapons to civilians,” Carolyn Maloney, US Representative and committee chairwoman, wrote.

Lake County prosecutors said a Smith & Wesson rifle, similar to an AR-15, was used in Monday's shooting, and that a similar weapon was found in the suspect's mother's car when he was arrested.

Updated: July 07, 2022, 4:02 PM
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