Highland Park Shooting Updates: Wisconsin Mayor Addresses Crimo's 'Disturbing' Visit

Live Updates
  • The Highland Park, Illinois community is still mourning after a deadly shooting at a July Fourth parade killed seven people and wounded dozens.
  • Robert Crimo III was charged with seven counts of first-degree murder. If convicted, he faces a mandatory life sentence without parole.
  • Crimo bought the rifle used in the shooting legally in Illinois, authorities said.
  • Crimo drove to Wisconsin's capital city after the shooting in Highland Park and "seriously contemplated" another attack, authorities said on Wednesday. Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway said news of Crimo's visit to the area was "deeply disturbing."
  • Online fundraisers have been established for the families of the victims, including a two-year-old boy who lost both his parents in the shooting.
  • Vice President Kamala Harris visited Highland Park Tuesday. She called on Congress to have the "courage" to act and renew the assault weapons ban.
  • A candlelit vigil was held Tuesday night to honor the victims and call for action to prevent more mass shootings.
Memorial Highland Park Shooting
An American flag flies at half-staff near a memorial for the victims of a mass shooting at a Fourth of July parade, on July 6, 2022 in Highland Park, Illinois. Authorities have charged Robert “Bobby” E. Crimo III, 22, with seven counts of first-degree murder in the attack that also injured 47, according to published reports. Jim Vondruska/Getty Images

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Wisconsin Mayor Addresses Crimo's 'Disturbing' Visit

The news that Robert Crimo III visited Wisconsin's capital city after the shooting at a Fourth of July parade in Highland Park, Illinois, "is deeply disturbing," Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway said.

Rhodes-Conway released a statement about the suspected Highland Park shooter's visit hours after authorities shared details of what investigators believe Crimo did while in the area.

During a press conference earlier Wednesday, Lake County Major Crime Task Force spokesperson Chris Covelli said investigators learned Crimo "did see a celebration that was occurring in Madison" while driving around and "seriously contemplated using the firearm in his vehicle to commit another shooting."

Covelli said Crimo had about 60 rounds with him at that time, but the suspected shooter appeared to have decided against a second attack due to a lack of planning.

Crimo's visit to Madison on Monday "only underscores the fact that we need a national approach to dealing with gun violence," Rhodes-Conway said. "Weapons of war have no place in our communities."

The mayor acknowledged recent bipartisan gun legislation but said Congress "must pass common sense gun safety laws to protect our communities."

"Assault weapons and large-capacity magazines must be banned," she added.

Rhodes-Conway's statement went on to address how other developed nations do not struggle with gun violence to the extent that the U.S. does.

"It doesn't have to be this way," she said.

Rhodes-Conway concluded her statement by saying Madison and other local communities are "doing what we can" to address gun violence and called upon Congress to take further action.

"We need Congress to do its job and protect our communities," she said.

Couple Rescued Toddler Covered in Blood

A couple recalled how they rescued a two-year-old boy was found wondering alone after his parents died in the Highland Park July Fourth parade.

After a shooter fired into the crowd, Greg and Dana Ring fled the scene with their three young children. They rushed to a parking garage near the Walker Brothers pancake house.

Greg Ring told WBBM a "shocked" woman walked up to them, shaking, and handed him a toddler, covered in blood.

"We kind of met eyes and didn't say anything....I put my arms out, and she gave him to me," Ring told the Associated Press. The women then laid down in front of a car in shock.

The young boy pointed in the direction of the parade route and said "Mommy, Daddy, Mommy, Daddy." He was covered with blood that was not his.

Ring was going to carry the boy back towards to scene, shielding his face from the carnage, but a police officer shouted, "active shooter, get back down!"

Ring ran back to his car and took the boy to the Highland Park fire station. He told the department staff that he had a boy who was not his. An official told Ring he could not be a "babysitter," as authorities searched for the shooter and tended to the wounded victims.

Police looked like they were "getting ready for war," Ring said.

They brought the child back to Dana Ring's parents' house with their other children. The boy seemed "fine," playing with the other children, Ring told WBBM.

Eventually, the boy was identified as Aiden McCarthy and was reunited with his grandparents. Aiden's parents, Kevin and Irina, were among the seven victims killed in the shooting. Kevin McCarthy reportedly covered his son to protecting him from the gunfire. A GoFundMe page for Aiden has raised over $2 million.

Ring is still processing the incident and feels grateful that he and his family is safe. He said he is not a hero and just did what anyone else would have done.

"I'm just filled with immense gratitude. I'm really sad," he told AP. I don't know, I don't know how I feel. I have not slept for a minute the last two nights."

"What could've happened — it is nothing short of a miracle that the five of us — me, my wife and my three kids — one of us or all of us isn't dead. I do not understand. Everybody around us was hit or got shot."

Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering said Aiden's story will "haunt" her for the rest of her life.

"He was being passed around in an underground garage because...nobody could figure out whose child that was," she told MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell. "And when I realized that nobody was panicking and looking for a baby, there could only be one conclusion. I almost threw up."

'It's Time to Stop Blaming the Gun,' MTG Says

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia said it is "time to stop blaming the gun" following the mass shooting at a Fourth of July parade in Highland Park.

"It's time to stop blaming the gun and have honest conversations about the real causes of mass shootings," Greene wrote in a Tuesday tweet.

The tweet was one in a series of messages the Republican congresswoman posted on social media addressing the shooting.

"When are we going to talk about drugs and SSRI's? When are they going to release the shooters records? Why wasn't his threats of mass shootings in his videos taken seriously by LE that knew about him? What did his parents know? Gun control won't stop this epidemic of evil," Greene tweeted.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell also commented on the Highland Park shooting during a Tuesday luncheon at the Paducah Area Chamber of Commerce in Paducah, Kentucky.

"The problem is mental health and these young men who seem to be inspired to commit these atrocities," McConnell told luncheon attendees, according to the Paducah-based television news station WPSD-TV.

The Kentucky Republican said he believes recently passed bipartisan gun legislation "targeted the problem" and added, "in that particular instance it was school safety and mental health."

"We have got to figure out some way to identify these troubled young men, and it's very complicated," McConnell said.

Greene commented further on the shooting Tuesday evening while speaking live on Rumble.

"Two shootings on July 4th, one in a rich, white neighborhood, and the other at a fireworks display," Greene said, referring to the Highland Park shooting and another that occurred Monday night during a fireworks show in Philadelphia.

"It almost sounds like it's designed to persuade Republicans to go along with more gun control," Greene said.

Crimo Booking Photo Released

New photos show the Highland Park shooting suspect after he was charged with killing seven people at a July Fourth parade.

The Lake County Major Crime Task Force shared a booking photo of Robert Crimo III.

Robert Crimo Booking
This photo provided by the Lake County Major Crime Task Force shows Robert Crimo, III. Crimo III has been charged with seven counts of first Degree Murder in the Fourth of July parade shooting in Highland Park, Ill. Lake County Major Crime Task Force via AP

Crimo appeared virtually in a Lake County bond court Wednesday.

During his first court appearance, Crimo was denied bail and will remain in police custody until his next hearing later this month.

Crimo in Court
In a video feed from the Lake County, Ill., jail Robert E. Crimo III appears before Lake County Judge Theodore Potkonjak in his initial court appearance Wednesday, July 6, 2022, in Waukegan, Ill. Crimo is accused of killing seven people during a mass shooting during a July 4 parade in Highland Park, Ill. AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast, Pool

Crimo's Phone Found Near Wisconsin Business

A phone belonging to Robert Crimo III, the suspected gunman in Monday's shooting in Highland Park, was reportedly found near a business in Middleton, Wisconsin.

Authorities said on Wednesday that Crimo drove into Wisconsin after the shooting, where he "seriously contemplated" carrying out a second shooting after spotting a celebration in Madison.

While in Wisconsin, authorities said Crimo got rid of his phone in Middleton, a Madison-area suburb located in Dane County.

The phone "was recovered yesterday by the FBI, and it's being processed right now," Lake County Major Crime Task Force spokesperson Chris Covelli said during a Wednesday press conference.

Crimo left his phone along the 6500 block of University Avenue in Middleton, Covelli said.

FBI agents found the phone near a vehicle service business called Jim's Auto Service Center, according to local media reports.

The business owner told reporter Ben Jordan of the Milwaukee-based television news station WTMJ-TV that the phone was discovered in the dirt parking lot.

FBI Looking Into Federal Charges

The Highland Park shooting suspect could face federal charges.

While speaking at an event in London on Chinese espionage, FBI Director Christopher Wray said the bureau is working with state and local authorities on the investigation into the July Fourth parade shooting.

"If the facts gathered end up supporting a federal prosecution, then we will work with the U.S. attorney's office to pursue prosecution on the federal side as well," he said.

FBI Highland Park shooting
FBI agents work the scene of a shooting at a Fourth of July parade on July 5, 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. Jim Vondruska//Getty Images

FBI Chicago personnel were on the scene Tuesday to help with crime scene and evidence collection and assist victims in need.

A Family Assistance Center was opened Wednesday to provide services to those directly impacted by the shooting.

Attack Was 309th Mass Shooting This Year

The mass shooting at a Fourth of July parade in Highland Park was the 309th mass shooting to occur in the U.S. during the first 185 days of 2022, according to a tally by the Newtown Action Alliance.

The Highland Park shooting was also the 11th mass shooting that took place over the July 4th holiday weekend, according to The Gun Violence Archive.

The Newtown Action Alliance, a grassroots organization that was founded in the wake of the 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, said Wednesday that it is "time to declare gun violence a national public health emergency."

Po Murray, the chair of the Newtown Action Alliance, encouraged President Joe Biden to issue the declaration in a Wednesday morning tweet. Doing so could help the communities where mass shootings have occurred, her tweet said.

"Recovery takes years & years," Murray wrote.

Last year, 692 mass shootings occurred in the U.S., according to Gun Violence Archive data, which has been collected since 2013. The nonprofit's data shows 2020 as the first year when the total number of mass shootings in the U.S. exceeded 2020 for a single year.

Crimo's Parents Share 'Thoughts and Prayers' With Victims

The parents of Highland Park shooting suspect Robert Crimo III shared their "thoughts and prayers" with the victims of the July Fourth parade shooting.

Bob and Denise Crimo released a statement through their attorney, Steve Greenberg.

"We are all mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, and this is a terrible tragedy for many families, the victims, the paradegoers, the community, and our own," the statement read. "Our hearts, thoughts, and prayers go out to everybody."

The Crimos ask that their privacy be respected as they "try to sort [through] this tragedy," Greenberg said in a tweet.

Greenberg said Crimo's parents retained him and his law firm, Greenberg Trial Lawyers, to represent them Tuesday.

In a later tweet, Greenberg said "the 'system'" is trying to make this incident about parenting.

Bob Crimo sponsored his son's application for a Firearm Owner's Identification (FOID) card in December 2019, two months after the police were called because Robert Crimo III threatened to kill his family.

"The parents recognize that is a legitimate concern," Greenberg tweeted. "However, it is important to know the Illinois State Police renewed the gun card when their son turned 21, long before this without any involvement from his father."

Greenberg said it was ultimately the decision of the Illinois State Police if an individual is "competent" to own a gun. He added that the "bigger question" is why "military grade assault weapons available for anyone to purchase."

"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," he said.

Seventh Victim Identified

The Cook County Medical Examiner's Office on Wednesday identified 69-year-old Eduardo Uvaldo as the seventh victim killed in the shooting at a Fourth of July parade in Highland Park.

Uvaldo was transported to Evanston Hospital following the Monday shooting, according to the Chicago-based television news station WMAQ-TV. A GoFundMe launched by a member of Uvaldo's family said he was shot in the arm and in the back of his head, injuries that left him in critical condition with low chances of survival.

Uvaldo was taken off a ventilator on Tuesday, his family wrote on the fundraiser page.

"Our papi has gone with his mami and papi," an update added Wednesday on the fundraiser page said. "We thank you for your prayers and donations."

More than $61,000 had been raised for his family by midday Wednesday, according to the fundraiser total.

The Fourth of July parade in Highland Park is a celebration Uvaldo's family "attends every year filled with happiness and laughter," his family wrote in the fundraiser description. "This year was different, this year was filled with fear, sadness, and tragedy."

Uvaldo's wife and grandson also suffered gunfire injuries in the attack, the fundraiser description said.

Seventh victim of Highland Park shooting identified
An American flag flies at half-staff near a memorial for the victims of a mass shooting at a Fourth of July parade, on July 6, 2022 in Highland Park, Illinois. Jim Vondruska/Getty Images

Crimo Considered Second Attack in Madison

Robert Crimo III thought about carrying out a second shooting on July 4th after fleeing the site of the first shooting he is alleged to have carried out in Highland Park, authorities said Wednesday.

Crimo, who was formally charged on Tuesday and appeared in court for the first time Wednesday morning, voluntarily confessed to his role in the Highland Park shooting after he was read his Miranda warnings and offered an attorney, Lake County State's Attorney Eric Rinehart said during a Wednesday press conference.

"He went into details about what he had done. He admitted to what he had done," Rinehart said.

Both Rinehart and Lake County Major Crime Task Force spokesperson Chris Covelli declined to speculate on Crimo's motive.

After the shooting on Monday, Covelli said investigators learned that Crimo drove to Madison, Wisconsin.

"He did see a celebration that was occurring in Madison," Covelli said. "He seriously contemplated using the firearm he had in his vehicle to commit another shooting in Madison."

Crimo had "approximately 60 rounds" at the time he spotted that second celebration, Covelli said.

Covelli said it appeared Crimo decided against carrying out a second shooting due to a lack of planning.

"We don't have information to suggest he planned on driving to Madison initially to commit another attack. We do believe that he was driving around following the first attack and saw the celebration," Covelli said.

"Indications are that he hadn't put enough thought and research into it," Covelli added.

Crimo Could be Charged for 'Every Time He Fired a Bullet'

The Highland Park shooting suspect will likely face additional charges, Lake County State's Attorney Eric Rinehart said.

Robert Crimo III has already been charged with seven counts of first-degree murder.

Rinehart, the lead prosecutor in this case, said the state is looking to levy additional charges against Crimo.

This includes attempted murder and aggravated battery with firearm charges for each person injured in the shooting. Rinehart said they may charge Crimo with aggravated discharge of a weapon for "every time he fired a bullet," whether he hit someone or not.

Rinehart said details about additional charges will come in late July.

Eric Rinehart
Lake County, Ill., State's Attorney Eric Rinehart responds to a question during a news conference where he announced first-degree murder charges filed against Robert E. "Bobby'' Crimo III for the mass shooting Monday at the Highland Park, Ill., July 4th parade Tuesday, July 5, 2022, in Highland Park. Charles Rex Arbogast/AP Photo

Crimo Confesses to Shooting, Denied Bond

A judge ruled that Robert Crimo III will be held without bond Wednesday ahead of his hearing.

During the Zoom hearing, Crimo was appointed a public defender.

Crimo responded "no" when the judge asked him if he was in a position to retain a lawyer.

Public Defender Gregory Ticsay said he was under the impression that Crimo had a lawyer. He asked to move into a private Zoom room with Crimo to speak privately.

Assistant State Attorney Ben Dillion then reiterated the events of the July Fourth parade shooting in Highland Park.

Surveillance videos and photos show Crimo arriving and leaving the area near the parade route and also captured Crimo dumping a rifle that was traced back to Crimo.

While on the rooftop, Dillion said Crimo "looked down his sights, aimed, then opened fire at people across the street." Crimo emptied two clips and reloaded his gun three times.

Dillion also said Crimo confessed to the shooting after he was arrested.

Judge Theodore Potkonjak said the court finds probable cause.

The state asked the judge to deny bail, as is mandatory with life sentences. Ticsay said he won't argue.

Potkonjak then denied bond for Crimo.

During the hearing, another lawyer who said he was representing Crimo tried to join the Zoom call. After some technical difficulties, Tom Durkin joined the hearing. He said he was hired by Crimo's family and spoke to Crimo. Durkin said he could not represent Crimo, however, because he has a personal conflict of interest.

The preliminary hearing is set for July 28 and 1:30 p.m. Central Time.

Crimo's Mother Had Contact With Police After Shooting

Law enforcement officials had contact with Robert Crimo III's mother in the hours immediately following Monday's mass shooting at a July 4th parade in Highland Park and again on Tuesday, according to the Chicago-based television news station WBBM-TV.

Authorities identified Crimo as the suspect in the deadly shooting and arrested him later on Monday. Crimo was charged Tuesday with seven counts of first-degree murder and is expected to face additional charges.

Chris Covelli, the spokesperson for the Lake County Major Crime Task Force, said Tuesday that Crimo walked to his mother's home after the shooting and borrowed her vehicle.

Video obtained by WBBM-TV showed a confrontation between Crimo's mother, whom the station identified as Denise Pesina, and members of a SWAT team as the search for Crimo was underway in the hours following the shooting. The station reported Pesina had contact with police again the day after the shooting occurred.

Crimo Passed Four Background Checks When Buying Guns

Highland Park shooting suspect Robert Crimo III passed four background checks when purchasing firearms, according to the Illinois State Police.

According to the Firearms Transaction Inquiry Program (FTIP), which includes the federal National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), Crimo passed four background checks:

  • July 9, 2020
  • July 18, 2020
  • July 31, 2020
  • September 20, 2021

Illinois State Police said the only offence in Crimo's criminal history was an ordinance violation for possession of tobacco in 2016. There was also no mental health prohibitor reports submitted by healthcare professionals.

When Highland Park Police responded to threats Crimo made against his family in September 2019, Crimo was asked whether he felt like harming himself or others. The Highland Park Police report indicates that Crimo answered "no," state police said.

Crimo's father also claimed the 16 knives were his and they were stored in Crimo's closet for "safekeeping." The knives were later returned to Crimo's father.

After that incident, state police say no arrest were made and no one, including Crimo's family, was willing to file a complaint or provide information on threats or mental health issues "that would have allowed law enforcement to take additional action."

State police said that a Firearms Restraining Order was not filed. At the time, Crimo did not have a Firearm Owner's Identification (FOID) card or pending application that police could revoke or deny.

Two months later, Crimo applied for a FOID application. He was under 21 at the time and his father sponsored the application.

"Therefore, at the time of FOID application review in January of 2020, there was insufficient basis to establish a clear and present danger and deny the FOID application," Illinois State Police said in a statement.

Suspect Due in Court, Could Face More Charges

The suspect in the Highland Park parade shooting will make his first court appearance Wednesday.

Robert Crimo III, 21, was charged with seven counts of first-degree murder after killing seven people and wounded dozens of others. If convicted, Crimo faces life in prison without parole.

He is due in bond court at 10 a.m. Central Time at the Lake County Courthouse.

Lake County's State's Attorney Eric Rinehart said there will be more charges levied against Crimo in the coming days.

"We anticipate dozens of more charges centering around each of the victims," he said during a press briefing Tuesday.

Those charges could include attempt murder, aggravated discharge and aggravated battery.