Highland Park Parade Shooting Suspect Confessed, Prosecutors Say

Robert E. Crimo III spoke briefly by videoconference from the Lake County Jail during a bail hearing on Wednesday to say he hadn’t retained an attorney. Judge Theodore Potkonjak ordered Mr. Crimo held without bail and set his next court appearance for July 28.

Prosecutors with the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office said Mr. Crimo had confessed to the shooting and to disguising himself by dressing as a woman and covering his tattoos in makeup so people wouldn’t recognize him.

Mr. Crimo twice reloaded a Smith & Wesson Model M&P 15 semiautomatic rifle before dropping the gun in an alley as he made his escape, prosecutors said. Eighty-three spent shell casings were recovered by police.

After the shooting, Mr. Crimo drove to Wisconsin and ended up in Madison, where he considered a second attack on another celebration, police said Wednesday. Mr. Crimo had a second rifle and 60 rounds of ammunition with him, said Chris Covelli, spokesman for the major-crimes task force in surrounding Lake County. “There are indications that he didn’t put enough planning forward to commit another attack,” he said.

After changing his mind, Mr. Crimo headed back toward Highland Park where he was spotted by a motorist and arrested by police.

Residents of this town 20 miles north of Chicago along the shores of Lake Michigan are reeling from the attack and toggling between grief and anger, despair and rage.

“Here we are with broken hearts on day one of healing,” the Rev. Suzan Hawkinson said at a packed service at the Highland Park Presbyterian Church on Tuesday evening. “We cannot take back yesterday, but we can rise from it.”

Some residents said they anticipate the pain of the killings to last years. They said they have learned from the grievance of people who have endured other mass shootings. Ryan Lawrenclle and Madison Dykins, both 28 years old, were freshmen at the University of Connecticut in 2012 when a gunman entered Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., and fatally shot 20 children and six adults.

July Fourth Parade Shooting in Highland Park Leaves Seven Dead

More than two dozen people were injured during the attack in a Chicago suburb

An FBI team investigated Monday’s mass shooting at a Fourth of July parade in Highland Park, Ill.


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“I had just come out of an exam when I heard about it,” said Ms. Dykins. They said several of their classmates had connections to families who had relatives at the school. “This just doesn’t go away,” said Ms. Dykins. “It doesn’t leave you.”

The couple said mass shootings have prompted them to question whether they will have children.

They weren’t at the parade on July Fourth because they had to drive relative to the airport. “What if that flight had been delayed and we had been there?” Mr. Lawrence said. “Nothing feels safe. Everything feels random.”

Manny Price, 83, Carly Shapiro, 21, and Amanda Levy, 28, had never met before Tuesday evening but found themselves standing near one another a block from the site of the massacre as they waited for Vice President Kamala Harris to speak.

They began to chat and it turned out each of them had some connection to someone affected by the 2018 mass shooting at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. A gunman there killed 17 and wounded 17.

The suspect in a mass shooting at a July Fourth parade in a Chicago suburb was charged with seven counts of first-degree murder, authorities said. The incident left seven people dead and dozens injured. Photo: Anthony Vazquez/Associated Press

Mr. Price had a friend whose son was shot in the back and killed. Ms. Levy’s cousin was inside the school and survived. Ms. Shapiro has a sorority sister at Ohio State University who was also in the school and survived.

“When we have a fire drill we have to tell her about it before we do it because the sirens are too much for her,” Ms. Shapiro said.

Ms. Levy is a special-education teacher in Connecticut and knows people affected by the massacre at Sandy Hook. She said she was already unsettled about school safety when a teenage gunman walked into the Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, in May and fatally shot 19 students and two teachers.

She was in Highland Park this week visiting a college friend. “I was anxious before I got here and then I was at the parade and I had to run,” she said. “This morning I woke up at 5 am I couldn’t get back to sleep.”

Mr. Price attended a funeral for his friend’s son killed at Parkland. “There were 1,500 people there,” he said.

On Monday, he said he saw a man shot and nearly disemboweled at the parade.

“I’m seeing T-shirts that say ‘Highland Park Strong,’ ” he said. “Every town has those T-shirts now.”

Write to Douglas Belkin at doug.belkin@wsj.com and Joe Barrett at joseph.barrett@wsj.com

Corrections & Amplifications
The first name of the Rev. Suzan Hawkinson was misspelled as Susan in an earlier version of this article. (Corrected on July 6.)

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