Highland Park Parade Shooting

July 8, 2022 Criminal Defense, Violent Crimes

Another tragic mass shooting has shook the nation. This time the massacre took place during a 4th of July parade, meant to celebrate Independence Day in America. The shooter was Robert “Bobby” Crimo III, who has now been charged with seven counts of first-degree murder. In total 45 people were injured and seven were killed in the shootings outcome.

Lake County State Attorney Eric Rinehart said in a news conference that these are only the first of many charges that will be given to the 21-year-old. If convicted, Crimo will face a mandatory life sentence without the possibility of parole (Illinois does not have the death penalty).

“Lake County will never be the same,” Rinehart said.

We will cover the details of the shooting, the victims who passed away, and the continued issue of gun violence in America.

What was the Incident?

Highland Park was set to have their first major parade since the pandemic. What was supposed to be a day filled with celebration, family, and fireworks quickly took a turn for the worst. Around 10:14 am, shots started firing at the outdoor event.

The following is a statement by Jessica Antes, one of the emcees of the parade, and her recollection of what happened that morning:

“We were like 10, 25 minutes into it, and literally my co-host Ryan and I, we looked at each other were like: that’s got to be fireworks, right? Somebody [is] setting off fireworks. And then we saw just people scattering and screaming.”

Another witness of the parade, Miles Zaremski, told NPR that he believed the gunshots were just fireworks at first. “And then I gingerly went a little bit forward, and all of a sudden I see blood on the cement,” he said. “And then I see individual pools of blood…and I knew there was a mass shooting.”

Investigators believe Crimo had been planning the attack for weeks. On the day of the parade, he dressed up in women’s clothing to disguise himself and blend into the crowd. Sgt. Christopher Covelli of Lake County reported that after gaining access to the roof of a nearby business, Crimo shot off more than 70 rounds into the crowd of the parade.

The weapon used during the shooting was a “high-powered” rifle similar to an AR-15. Crimo was shown on video surveillance dropping an object in a red blanket outside of a store before leaving the parade. Inside the red blanket was the rifle he used. Crimo then fled to his mother’s house to steal her car and attempt to escape. Around eight hours after the attack, he was announced as a person of interest by the police, and they found the 2010 silver Honda Fit and conducted a traffic stop.

Inside his mother’s vehicle was another rifle. Crimo told police he purchased both rifles legally in Chicago. When they later searched his house, authorities found several more firearms at the Crimo residence near Highwood. There were five firearms that were legally purchased by Crimo: two rifles, some pistols, and possibly a shotgun, according to Covelli.  

Prior to the parade shooting, Crimo had been involved in two situations in the past. In April 2019, the police were called after Crimo attempted to commit suicide. When the authorities questioned Crimo and his parents, they found that there were mental health professionals who were already working on the situation. Then again in September 2019, one of Crimo’s family members called the police to report that the boy was going to “kill everyone” and had a knife collection. After responding to the scene the police took 16 knives from Crimo’s home.

Parade Victims

In total, 45 people were injured during the mass shooting. The police in Illinois have identified six of the seven victims who were shot and killed during the parade. The following is a list of the lives lost during the shooting:

  • Irina McCarthy, 35
  • Kevin McCarthy, 37
  • Jacquelyn Sundheim, 63
  • Katherine Goldstein, 64
  • Nicolas Toledo-Zaragoza, 78
  • Stephen Straus, 88

A seventh victim died while in the hospital outside of Lake County.

Continued Gun Violence in America

2021 marked the worst recorded year of mass shootings in the United States, which includes the Texas Elementary School shooting and the racist attack at a New York grocery store. According to the Gun Violence Archive, there were a total of 692 mass shootings in the U.S. in the last year.

Since those most recent shootings, President Biden has signed one of the first major federal gun safety legislations into law. This was significant due to gun regulation being one of the most controversial policy issues in the government. The bill includes appropriations to help states implement and run crisis intervention programs. These appropriations can help state-run programs like mental health court, drug court, and veterans court which are crisis intervention programs aimed to help people before a disaster occurs and get their life back on track.

After the parade shooting, Biden held a moment of silence from the White House. “There is much more work to do, and I’m not going to give up fighting the epidemic of gun violence,” he said in a released statement on Monday.

Specifically in Illinois, Highland Park passed a local ban in 2013 for semi-automatic firearms with the capacity to accept over 10 rounds of ammunition. After the shooting on July 4th, Mayor Rotering addressed the need for stricter gun regulations across the entire country.

“I think it’s important to know that our assault weapon ban…is reflective of the values of our community,” she said. “Obviously we have a problem in this country if we have weekly mass shootings involving these weapons of war, and it’s important for us to talk about how to provide that protection on a broader scale, whether it’s statewide [or] whether it’s nationally.”

During the last 186 days, there have been more than 300 mass shootings in the nation, according to the Gun Violence Archive. Highland Park was also not the only 4th of July shooting. One other person was killed and a total of 18 people were injured in five other shootings that took place in Massachusetts, California, Missouri, Virginia, and Chicago.

“There are no words for the kind of evil that shows up at a public celebration of freedom, hides on a roof, and shoots innocent people with an assault rifle,” Gov. J.B. Pritzker of Illinois said on Monday. “It is devastating that a celebration of America was ripped apart by our uniquely American plague.”

Finding a Defense Attorney in Tallahassee, Florida

Gun violence is extremely serious in the nation, and Florida does not take gun charges lightly. Getting charged with a crime involving firearms can result in harsh penalties such as expensive fines and jail time. The best way to ensure your freedom is to work with a skilled defense attorney in your area. Don Pumphrey and his team at Pumphrey Law Firm have worked with individuals all across the state and will work tirelessly to build a strong defense for your case. If you or a loved one have been accused of a crime, call us for a free consultation at (850) 681-7777 or leave an online message on our website

Written by Karissa Key

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