Highland Park Shooting Updates: Suspect Was Reportedly Asked to Leave Synagogue in April

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Highland Park Shooting
Belongings are shown left behind at the scene of a mass shooting along the route of a Fourth of July parade on July 4, 2022 in Highland Park, Illinois. Police have detained Robert “Bobby” E. Crimo III, 22, in connection with the shooting in which six people were killed and 19 injured, according to published reports. Mark Borenstein/Getty Images

Suspect Was Reportedly Asked to Leave Synagogue in April

The suspect in the Highland Park shooting was reportedly turned away from a synagogue before he opened fire at a Fourth of July parade Monday.

A Jewish security organization said someone who resembles shooting suspect Robert "Bobby" Crimo III entered the Chabad synagogue during Passover.

Michael Masters, the chief executive officer of Secure Community Network, told the Chicago Sun Times that a rabbi recognized Crimo from the photos released by police Monday. The rabbi recognized him as the same individual who visited the synagogue in April.

"Security encountered him. There was a conversation with the individual and he ultimately left," Masters said.

Secure Community Network works with the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security to protect Jewish facilities across the country.

Highland Park, Illinois has a large Jewish population, but police do not think the shooting was religiously motivated. Masters agrees that there is no evidence so far to indicate this was was an antisemitic attack.

"Nothing overtly we have identified in his social media posts says this was an antisemitic attack, but we are coordinating with law enforcement," Masters said. "Apparently on social media, there are some indications he was ideating around the Fourth of July for some period of time, which would indicate this was not an attack on one particular community."

In a press briefing, Lake County Major Crime Task Force Spokesperson Chris Covelli said he did not know about this incident at this time.

Both Parents of 2-Year-Old Boy Died in Shooting

A 2-year-old boy was orphaned after both of his parents were killed in the mass shooting at Highland Park's Fourth of July parade on Monday.

The toddler's parents, Irina and Kevin McCarthy, were identified by Lake County Coroner Jennifer Banek as two of the seven people who were killed.

The Chicago-based television news station WBBM-TV reported the toddler was not hurt in the shooting and was discovered by strangers after becoming separated from his family.

A GoFundMe launched on Tuesday in support of the toddler and those who will contribute to his care in the years to come.

The child "will be cared for by his loving family and he will have a long road ahead to heal, find stability, and ultimately navigate life as an orphan," the fundraiser description said. "He is surrounded by a community of friends and extended family that will embrace him with love, and any means available to ensure he has everything he needs as he grows."

The fundraiser had raised more than $867,000 by Tuesday evening, less than four hours after it launched.

VP Harris Calls on Congress to Renew Assault Weapons Ban

Vice President Kamala Harris on Tuesday called upon Congress to take action and renew the assault weapons ban.

Harris urged lawmakers to act while speaking before the National Education Association during its annual meeting in Chicago, Illinois. Not far away, the Highland Park community was reeling from a deadly mass shooting at a parade celebrating Independence Day.

Harris began her speech by addressing the Monday shooting.

The Fourth of July holiday "should have been a day to come together with family and friends to celebrate our nation's independence," Harris said. "Instead, that community suffered a violent tragedy."

The community will be "forever changed" by the day's violence, Harris added.

"We need to stop this violence. And we must protect our communities from the terror of gun violence," she said.

The vice president went on to encourage members of Congress to have "courage."

"Congress needs to have the courage to act and renew the assault weapons ban," Harris said.

"Let's talk about what an assault weapon is designed to do," she continued. "An assault weapon is designed to kill a lot of human beings quickly. There is no reason that we have weapons of war on the streets of America. We need reasonable gun safety laws."

The country also needs Congress to "stop protecting those gun manufacturers with the liability shield," Harris added, urging lawmakers to "repeal it."

Crimo Charged With 7 Counts of First-Degree Murder

Robert Crimo III has been charged with seven counts of first-degree murder in connection with Monday's shooting at a Fourth of July parade in Highland Park.

Lake County State's Attorney Eric Rinehart announced the charges during a Tuesday evening press briefing.

Crimo was taken into custody Monday evening in connection with the shooting. Authorities said earlier Tuesday they did not believe anyone else was involved in the shooting.

Seven people were killed in the Monday shooting, and more than 30 others were injured.

Rinehart said the seven first-degree murder charges are "the first of many charges that will be filed against Mr. Crimo," with additional charges expected in the days ahead.

"But these seven counts of first-degree murder will lead to a mandatory life sentence, should he be convicted, without the possibility of parole," Rinehart said.

Charges Expected to Be Announced Soon

The Lake County State's Attorney's Office is expected to hold a press briefing Tuesday evening at 5:30 p.m. local time to provide further updates regarding the July 4th shooting in Highland Park.

Authorities on Monday arrested 21-year-old Robert Crimo III in connection with the shooting, but he has not yet been charged. Lake County Major Crime Task Force spokesperson Chris Covelli said during a press briefing earlier Tuesday that there were "no indications" anyone else was involved in the shooting.

Covelli said officials "anticipate an announcement of charges" Tuesday evening when the state's attorney's office holds its press briefing.

The briefing is expected to begin at 5:30 p.m. CT.

Pritzker Issues 30-day Disaster Proclamation

Illinois Governor J. B. Pritzker issued a disaster proclamation in the wake of the Monday mass shooting at a Fourth of July parade in Highland Park.

The disaster proclamation, which Pritzker issued on Tuesday, goes into effect "immediately" and will remain in place for 30 days in Lake County, according to a press release from Pritzker's office.

The proclamation enables the state to "expedite the use of state resources, personnel, or equipment" to assist the county as it begins to recover, the release said.

"There are no words for the kind of evil that turns a community celebration into a tragedy," Pritzker said in the release. He added that Illinois "will provide every available resource" to the Highland Park community and areas nearby as that recovery process starts.

Pritzker shared a copy of the disaster proclamation Tuesday afternoon on Twitter.

"We're honoring the victims' memories and as we mourn together, the State of Illinois will provide every available resource to Highland Park and surrounding communities in the days and weeks ahead as we work to recover from this horrific tragedy," Pritzker tweeted.

President Joe Biden said he and first lady Jill Biden were "shocked by the senseless gun violence" that occurred in Highland Park on Monday. When asked by reporters on Tuesday whether he would visit the shooting site, Biden said he was "not sure yet."

Later Tuesday, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Biden was scheduled to travel to Ohio on Wednesday and did not have plans to travel to Illinois at that time. But Jean-Pierre said Vice President Kamala Harris would be in Chicago Tuesday evening and would address the shooting while there.

Harris "will speak to the devastation that we all saw with our own eyes yesterday in Highland Park," Jean-Pierre said.

Six Victims Publicly Identified

Lake County Coroner Jennifer Banek identified six of the people who were killed in the July 4th shooting in Highland Park.

"It is with a heavy heart that I bring to you the names of the victims of that tragedy," Banek said during a Tuesday afternoon press conference. She proceeded to identify six of the victims by name and age.

Katherine Goldstein and Stephen Straus were two of the individuals from Highland Park who were killed. Goldstein was 64 and Straus was 88, Banek said. Also among the victims from Highland Park were 35-year-old Irina McCarthy, 37-year-old Kevin McCarthy and 63-year-old Jacki Sundheim.

A sixth victim was identified as 78-year-old Nicolas Toledo-Zaragoza of Mexico. His family told media outlets earlier Tuesday that Toledo-Zaragoza had dual U.S.-Mexico citizenship.

Authorities said earlier Tuesday that a seventh person had died of the injuries they sustained in the shooting. The seventh victim has not yet been publicly identified.

Flowers at site of Highland Park shooting
Flowers are laid near the scene of a shooting at a Fourth of July parade on July 5, 2022 in Highland Park, Illinois. Jim Vondruska/Getty Images

Suspect Threatened to 'Kill' His Family in 2019

Highland Park shooting suspect Robert Crimo III had two prior run-ins with police prior to the incident Monday.

In April 2019, someone contacted the police a week after Crimo attempted suicide.

Lake County Major Crime Task Force Spokesperson Chris Covelli said police spoke with Crimo and his parents and left mental health professionals to deal with the situation. There was no police action taken.

In September 2019, police were called because Crimo was making threats against his family, Covelli said. The family member who called the police said Crimo said he was going to "kill everyone." Police seized 16 knives, a dagger and a sword from Crimo.

Covelli said there was no probable cause to arrest Crimo and had no signed complaints from family members. He said the Highland Park Police Department did notify the Illinois State Police.

Authorities Seek Female Witness

Authorities said Tuesday they are seeking a female witness who may have seen Robert Crimo III, the suspected Highland Park shooter, drop an object while fleeing the site of the shooting.

Lake County Major Crime Task Force spokesperson Chris Covelli said the Highland Park community has been "absolutely terrific" in terms of sharing information with police but said there may be one witness of note who has not yet spoken with authorities.

"Based on video surveillance recovered by our investigators, we're very certain that there was a female witness who saw Crimo drop an object inside of a red blanket" after the shooting. Covelli said Crimo dropped the object at 625 Central Avenue.

"We've not been able to identify this witness yet," Covelli said. He urged the unidentified witness to contact FBI investigators to discuss what they saw in the area during and after the shooting.

"Investigators really would like to speak to you about this," he added.

Others who believe they may have firsthand information about Crimo were also encouraged to contact investigators.

Darren Bailey Apologizes for 'Move On' Comments

Darren Bailey, the Republican Illinois state senator who is running to become his state's next governor, apologized for comments he made shortly after the July 4th shooting in Highland Park.

During a Facebook Live broadcast from Skokie, Illinois, on Monday afternoon, Bailey acknowledged that the shooting in nearby Highland Park had occurred and praised the area's first responders.

Bailey encouraged his supporters to "pray for justice to prevail" before saying, "and then let's move on and let's celebrate the independence of this nation."

Bailey was swiftly criticized for encouraging people to "move on."

A spokesperson later released a statement to The Daily Beast on behalf of Bailey that apologized for the comments.

"I apologize if in any way we diminished the pain being felt across our state today," the statement said. "I hope we can all come together in prayer and action to address rampant crime and mental health issues to make sure these horrific tragedies don't happen again."

Bailey also released a statement on Tuesday through his campaign's Twitter account that said people "must come together in prayer and action to address the plague of violence and commit to better addressing mental health in Illinois."

"We continue to lift up the victims of Highland Park and the victims we see daily in and around the city of Chicago and across our state," the statement read in part.

Police Expected to Give Update on Motive, Charges

Law enforcement is set to hold another press briefing Tuesday afternoon.

In a briefing earlier this afternoon, Lake County Major Crime Task Force Spokesperson Chris Covelli provided initial details on the shooting.

Police Briefing highland Park
“Nothing overtly we have identified in his social media posts says this was an antisemitic attack, but we are coordinating with law enforcement,” Masters said. “Apparently on social media, there are some indications he was ideating around the Fourth of July for some period of time, which would indicate this was not an attack on one particular community.” Jim Vondruska/Getty Images

Police are expected to share more information about a possible motive and potential charges that could be issued against suspect Robert Crimo III.

The briefing will stream live at around 4 p.m. EST on local Chicago news outlets.

Seventh Person Dies From Injuries

A seventh person succumbed to the injuries they sustained in the July 4th shooting in Highland Park, officials told reporters on Tuesday.

Lake County Major Crime Task Force spokesperson Chris Covelli was the one who confirmed that a seventh person had died, according to The New York Times.

The identity of the seventh victim and the identities of others killed in the mass shooting have not yet been publicly released, though family members and individuals within the Highland Park community have identified some of the deceased.

The seventh victim was initially taken to Evanston Hospital after the shooting but later died, ABC News correspondent Reena Roy reported.

Earlier Tuesday, NorthShore University Health System spokesperson Jim Anthony told CNN that 39 people were taken to four hospitals on Monday for treatment of their injuries. At the time, Anthony said nine people were still hospitalized within the NorthShore hospital system, four of whom were in good condition and four of whom were in stable condition. He said one 69-year-old man was in critical condition.

Over $200k Raised for Victims

Crowd-sourced fundraising pages are popping up to support the families of victims in the Highland Park shooting.

A general GoFundMe page was established to raise funds for VictimsFirst.org. Victim's First ensures that 100 percent of donations go directly to victims.

Donations will go towards funeral costs, medical bills, and mental health support, the page states, adding that Highland Park City Council, Mayor Nancy Rotering and the Human Relations Committee will be involved in distributing funds.

As of Tuesday afternoon, the page has exceeded its goal and raised a total of $162, 248.

There is another GoFundMe for shooting victim Nicolas Toledo. His granddaughter Xochil Toledo started the fundraising page after her grandfather was killed when "what was supposed to be a fun family day turned into a horrific nightmare for us all."

Toledo says her family is "broken."

"Today Nicolas is our guardian angel," the page states. "We ask you please keep our family and all the families of this horrible tragic in your prayers and stay strong as a community."

This fundraiser has also exceeded its $50,000 goals by over $4,000 so far.

Later Tuesday, a GoFundMe spokesperson told Newsweek the platform created a centralized page for fundraisers linked to the Highland Park shooting. The main page was launched "to make it easier for people who want to support those affected," the spokesperson said. All fundraisers added to the centralized hub are verified by the platform's Trust & Safety team.

Illinois Governor Says U.S. 'Allows' for Mass Shootings

The governor of Illinois says the United States allows for gun violence to continue, following the Highland Park shooting at a July Fourth parade Monday.

Governor JB Pritzker said he is "furious" about the gun violence that happened in Highland Park and across the state and the country have torn communities apart.

"I'm furious," he said in a tweet. "It doesn't have to be this way, yet we allow it."

Pritzker called gun violence a "uniquely American plague."

"A day dedicated to freedom has put into stark relief the one freedom we as a nation refuse to uphold - the freedom of our fellow citizens to live without the daily fear of gun violence," he said in a statement.

He said that the Founding Fathers carried muskets, not assault weapons.

"I don't think a single one of them would have said you have a constitutional right to an assault weapon with a high capacity magazine — or that that is more important than the right of the people who attended this parade today to live," he said.

Pritzker added that the memory of those lost in the shooting should be a "call to action" to end gun violence.

Illinois Governor on July Fourth Shooting
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker attends a news conference at Highland Park Fire Department station 33., after a mass shooting at the Highland Park Fourth of July parade in downtown Highland Park, a Chicago suburb on Monday, July 4, 2022. /Nam Y. Huh/AP Photo

Mayor Knew Suspect When He Was Younger

Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering said she knew the man arrested in connection with the July 4th parade shooting years ago when he was a child.

Rotering was discussing social media posts by Robert Crimo III, whom authorities arrested Monday evening, with NewsNation reporter Brian Entin on Tuesday morning when she mentioned she had known Crimo while he was in Cub Scouts. She later noted that she "hadn't seen him in years."

"I knew him when he was a little boy," Rotering said. Crimo had been a Cub Scout while she was a pack leader, she said.

Rotering then shifted the conversation to how Crimo had allegedly used a legally-obtained weapon in Monday's shooting.

"I just think, you know, there are always going to be people who have mental health issues or who want to express themselves in a way that may be construed as violent," the mayor said. "Let's talk about the fact that he got a gun. Let's talk about the fact that there are people all over this world who are angry, who are dealing with mental health issues, who are not committing carnage on the Fourth of July. That is where I think this conversation needs to go."

When Entin asked if Rotering felt that the younger Crimo she had known was "disturbed this way," she responded by saying, "not at all."

"He was a little boy, he was a Cub Scout," she said. "He was very quiet, very sweet."

Biden 'Not Sure' About Shooting Site Visit

President Joe Biden said on Tuesday that he is not yet sure if he will visit the site of the July 4th shooting in Highland Park.

The president was asked if he had plans for a visit as he was leaving a Medal of Honor ceremony at the White House, where he had presented awards to four veterans of the Vietnam War.

"I'm not sure yet," Biden responded as he and first lady Jill Biden headed out the door of the East Room.

After the shooting occurred, Biden released a statement that said he and the first lady were "shocked by the senseless gun violence that has yet again brought grief to an American community on this Independence Day." He offered the federal government's "full support" to Illinois Governor J. B. Pritzker and Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering.

On Tuesday, Biden issued a proclamation in recognition of the shooting victims. He ordered the U.S. flag to be lowered to half-staff "at the White House and upon all public buildings and grounds, at all military posts and naval stations, and on all naval vessels of the Federal Government in the District of Columbia and throughout the United States and its Territories and possessions," as well as at "United States embassies, legations, consular offices, and other facilities abroad, including all military facilities and naval vessels and stations."

The flags are to be flown at half-staff until Saturday at sunset, Biden said.

Joe Biden at Medal of Honor ceremony
President Joe Biden arrives to award the Medal of Honor to four U.S. Army Soldiers who fought in the Vietnam War during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., July 5, 2022. SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images

Over 30 People Injured, No Children Killed

More than 30 people were injured in the July 4th shooting in Highland Park, Lake County Major Crime Task Force Spokesperson Chris Covelli said during a Tuesday press briefing.

The number of injured people does not include the six individuals who lost their lives in the shooting, he said. Not all of the people who were killed in the Monday shooting have been publicly named, but members of the community began identifying some of the deceased in the hours after the shooting occurred.

Covelli did not identify any of the victims but did say none of the deceased were children.

All of the injured individuals who were either transported to a nearby hospital or who drove themselves to a hospital were injured by gunfire, Covelli said. The injured individuals were taken to three hospitals in the area for treatment of their injuries, he added.

Shooting Appears to be 'Completely Random', Police Say

There is no motive indicated yet in the Highland Park shooting at a July Fourth parade.

The 21-year-old suspect, Robert Crimo III, is in police custody as the investigation is still ongoing.

Crimo purchased the gun used in the shooting legally in the surrounding Chicago area, Lake County Major Crime Task Force Spokesperson Chris Covelli said in a press briefing Tuesday.

Covelli described the gun as a high-powered rifle with high-velocity rounds, similar to an AR-15. Another rifle was found in the car Crimo was driving when he was apprehended by police Monday. That gun was also legally purchased by Crimo in Illinois.

Crimo fired more than 70 rounds into the crowd. The shooting "appears to be completely random," Covelli said.

Police have not determined a motive at the time, but Covelli said there is no evidence yet to suggest the shooting was motivated by a certain protected class. There have been questions as to whether this was a religiously-motivated, anti-Semitic attack, as Highland Park has a large Jewish population.

Investigators also believe that Crimo acted alone. They are expected to deliver another update on charges at 4 p.m. ET.

Crimo Dressed in Women's Clothing, Blended in With Fleeing Crowd

Authorities said Robert Crimo III, the 21-year-old man suspected in the July 4th shooting in Highland Park, was dressed in women's clothing during the shooting in what authorities believe was a strategy to aid his escape.

Lake County Major Crime Task Force Spokesperson Chris Covelli said during a Tuesday press conference that Crimo dressed in women's clothing to hide his face tattoos and otherwise conceal his identity so that it would be easier for him to leave the area where the shooting took place.

Covelli said the shooting appeared to have been pre-planned for several weeks. Once the shooting was over, Covelli said Crimo blended in with the fleeing crowd, walked to his mother's home nearby and borrowed her vehicle.

"He blended right in with everybody else as they were running around, almost as [if] he was an innocent spectator as well," Covelli said.

Suspect Shared Violent Images Online

The Highland Park shooting suspect reportedly posted disturbing, violent images online ahead of the deadly July Fourth incident.

The 22-year-old suspect, Robert Crimo III, was taken into police custody.

Crimo performed music as "Awake the Rapper." One of his music videos included drawings of a stick figure that resembled Crimo wearing tactical gear and holding a rifle. The video narration says "I need to just do it. It is my destiny."

In another video, a stick figure resembling Crimo is depicted laying in a pool of blood surrounded by police.

Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering told NBC's "Today" show that "several postings reflected a plan and desire to commit carnage for a long time in advance."

Rotering was "hesitant" to talk about these posts because she does not want this online activity to be glorified.

"This is something that needs to be diminished as a hateful impact on our nation," she said.

What We Know About the Victims

Details about the six people who were killed during the July 4th shooting in Highland Park are beginning to emerge.

Authorities did not immediately release the names of the deceased, but family and members of the Highland Park community began identifying some of the victims in the hours after the shooting.

One of the victims was identified by North Shore Congregation Israel (NSCI) as Jacki Sundheim. Sundheim was on staff at the congregation "for decades," the NSCI said.

"Jacki's work, kindness and warmth touched us all, from her early days teaching at the Gates of Learning Preschool to guiding innumerable among us through life's moments of joy and sorrow as our Events and B'nei Mitzvah Coordinator-- all of this with tireless dedication," the congregation said in a statement on its website.

Another victim was identified by family members as Nicolas Toledo, a grandfather with dual U.S.-Mexico citizenship whom The New York Times reported was 76. Toledo's family told the paper Toledo required a wheelchair to be mobile and went to watch the July 4th parade with family despite initially not wanting to attend.

One of the six victims was a Mexican national, according to a statement from Roberto Velasco Álvarez, who leads the North America arm of the Mexican Foreign Ministry. Álvarez did not name the victim.

Suspect Purchased Gun Legally, Mayor Says

The gun used by the Highland Park shooting suspect was legally obtained, according to officials.

Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering and the Lake County Sheriff's Office confirmed that the firearm used by the suspected shooter was legally purchased.

In 2013, Rotering signed a city ordinance banning assault weapons.

Rotering told NBC's "Today" show that she does not know where the suspect obtained the gun, but she knows it was purchased legally.

"At some point this nation needs to have a conversation about these weekly events involving the murder of dozens of people with legally obtained guns," she said. "If that's what our laws stand for then I think we have to examine the laws."

Charges Expected to be Announced Today

Authorities are expected to announce charges levied against the suspect in the Highland Park shooting.

The Lake County State's Attorney's Office said Robert E. Crimo III has been charged, according to WFLD reporter Kasey Chronis.

Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering told CNN Tuesday morning that charges against the suspect are expected to be announced later today.

"My understanding is that they'll be levying charges later today," she said.