Robert E Crimo III, who is accused of killing at least seven people and wounding dozens in Illinois state, purchased multiple firearms, despite threatening "to kill everyone" at home and a reported suicide attempt in 2019, police say.
The gunman who attacked an Independence Day parade in Highland Park city of Illinois state, killing at least seven people, legally bought two high-powered rifles and three other weapons despite authorities being called to his home twice since 2019 after he threatened suicide and violence, police have said.
Prosecutors on Tuesday charged the 21-year-old man with seven murder counts.
Robert E. Crimo III, the suspected shooter, who was arrested late on Monday, used a high-powered rifle "similar to an AR-15" to spray more than 70 rounds from atop a commercial building into a crowd in Highland Park, an affluent community of about 30,000 on the Lake Michigan shore, a spokesperson for the Lake County Major Crime Task Force told a news conference on Tuesday.
Police said they were called to the suspect's home in September 2019 after a family member called to say he was threatening "to kill everyone" in the home.
Police confiscated 16 knives, a dagger and a sword, but said there was no sign he had any guns at the time, task force spokesperson Christopher Covelli said.
The suspect legally purchased the high-powered rifle in Illinois within the past year, Covelli said. In all, police said, he purchased five firearms, which were recovered by officers at his father’s home.
Police in 2019 also responded to a reported suicide attempt by the suspect, Covelli said.
Crimo was charged with seven counts of first-degree murder, prosecutors said.
Lake County State's Attorney Eric Rinehart said the suspect would eventually face "dozens of more charges." He said Crimo, if convicted, would face a mandatory life sentence without parole.
The day after the shooting, authorities reported the death of a seventh person.
More than three dozen other people were wounded in the attack, which Covelli said the suspect had planned for several weeks.
Investigators who have interrogated the suspect and reviewed his social media posts have not determined a motive for the attack or found any indication that he targeted victims by race, religion, or other protected status, Covelli said.
Since the start of the year, the US has seen 15 shootings where four or more people were killed, including the one in Highland Park, according to The Associated Press/USA Today/Northeastern University mass killing database.
Scores of smaller-scale shootings in nearby Chicago also left eight people dead and 60 others wounded over the July 4 weekend.
In 2013, Highland Park officials approved a ban on assault weapons and ammunition magazines of more than 10 rounds. A local doctor and the Illinois State Rifle Association quickly challenged the liberal suburb’s stance.
The legal fight ended at the US Supreme Court’s doorstep in 2015 when justices declined to hear the case and let the suburb’s restrictions remain in place.
Suspect researched mass killings, beheadings
Crimo, who goes by the name Bobby, was an aspiring rapper with the stage name Awake the Rapper, posting on social media dozens of videos and songs, some ominous and violent.
In one animated video since taken down by YouTube, Crimo raps about armies "walking in darkness" as a drawing appears of a man pointing a rifle, a body on the ground and another figure with hands up in the distance.
Federal agents were reviewing Crimo's online profiles, and a preliminary examination of his internet history indicated that he had researched mass killings and had downloaded multiple photos depicting violent acts, including a beheading, a law enforcement official said.
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