Highland Park shooting suspect Robert Crimo indicted on 117 counts over July 4 massacre

Highland Park shooting suspect Robert Crimo has been indicted on 117 counts over the July 4 parade massacre that left seven innocent victims dead.

A grand jury indicted the accused mass murderer on a trove of felony charges on Wednesday, including 21 counts of first-degree murder, 48 counts of attempted murder and 48 counts of aggravated battery.

The 21-year-old was already facing life in prison without the possibility of parole after he was charged with seven counts of first-degree murder one day after the Independence Day mass shooting.

Mr Crimo allegedly confessed to carrying out the attack when he was arrested and admitted that he had considered staging a second mass shooting in another state.

On the morning of July 4, families, friends and local residents had gathered in Highland Park, Illinois, to enjoy the local parade and celebrations.

Mr Crimo – who had previously threatened to kill his family and whose online footprint reveals a pattern of disturbing behaviour – took up his position on top of a nearby building and opened fire on the people gathered below with a semi-automatic rifle.

Seven victims were killed in the attack: Katherine Goldstein, 64; Irina McCarthy, 35; Kevin McCarthy, 37; Jacquelyn Sundheim, 63; Stephen Straus, 88; Nicolas Toledo-Zaragoza, 78, and Eduardo Uvaldo, 69.

Dozens more were injured – including an eight-year-old boy who is now paralysed from the waist down.

As panicked parade-goers fled for their lives, the gunman allegedly hid in plain sight among the crowd and headed back to his mother’s house.

He borrowed his mother’s car and drove all the way to Madison, Wisconsin, where investigators say he considered carrying out a second attack.

He drove back to Illinois where he was spotted driving along a highway and arrested just hours after the massacre.

In the aftermath of the mass shooting, several disturbing details have come to light about the suspected gunman.

It has emerged that police were called to two separate incidents at his family home in 2019 – including one where he had allegedly threatened to kill “everyone” in the home.

Robert Crimo is accused of murdering seven in the July 4 attack

(Lake County Major Crime Task Force)

But, despite concerns that he was a threat to himself and to others, Mr Crimo was able to legally purchase multiple firearms.

In April 2019, police were first called to the home when Mr Crimo allegedly tried to kill himself with a machete.

Officers referred the incident to mental health professionals.

Five months later, on 5 September 2019, officers responded to the home again for a wellbeing check after Mr Crimo had “stated that he was going to kill everyone”.

The victim, a family member who was a minor at the time, said that they were “afraid to go home due to the nature of this threat” and because there was “a collection of knives in [Mr Crimo’s] bedroom”.

The then-18-year-old Mr Crimo admitted to officers that he was “depressed” and had a history of drug use, according to a police report released by Illinois State Police (ISP).

Police confiscated a trove of knives from his bedroom at the time including a 24-inch Samurai type sword, a 12-inch dagger and a tin lunch box with 16 hand knives – which were then collected just four hours later by Mr Crimo’s father after he claimed the knives were his and that he had simply been storing them in his son’s room for “safekeeping”.

Despite the warning signs about Mr Crimo’s disturbing behaviour, three months later, his father sponsored his son’s application for an FOID card (a state card required for an individual to purchase and possess firearms).

In January 2020 – despite being sent the police reports about the incidents – the ISP approved the FOID application.

Mr Crimo then legally bought five firearms over the next two years – including the high-powered Smith & Wesson M&P 15 rifle he allegedly used to murder seven in the July 4 attack.

As well as the alleged threats to hurt himself and others, Mr Crimo also had a disturbing online footprint, posting videos where he glamourised violence, firearms and mass shootings.

Among the trail of disturbing posts are music videos he posted on his YouTube account under his rap name Awake the Rapper, including one where he appears in a classroom with bullets and dressed in tactical gear, appearing to glorify school shootings.

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