3 min read

Highland Park Shooter Charged with Murder while Funerals Begin

Gunman who evaded Illinois red-flag laws and fired an assault weapon into a Fourth of July crowd is charged with murder while victims are buried.
Highland Park Shooter Charged with Murder while Funerals Begin

The first services for the victims of the mass shooting at a Fourth of July parade in this Chicago suburb were set for Friday, four days after a gunman fired more than 70 rounds from a rooftop with a legally purchased assault rifle, reports USA Today.

Loved ones of Highland Park victims will gather Friday in first funeral services after shooting (USA Today)

Excerpt from USA Today: The gunman, 21, wounded nearly 40 people and killed seven in the attack, including the parents of a 2-year-old boy. One of the youngest victims injured in the shooting, an 8-year-old boy, was still in critical condition in a hospital after being shot in the chest. 
Embed from Getty Images

According to The New York Times, Robert E. Crimo III, a man the authorities had initially said was a person of interest, was arrested on Monday night and charged on Tuesday. The Lake County state’s attorney, Eric F. Rinehart, said conviction on the first-degree murder counts would lead to a mandatory prison sentence of life without possibility of parole. He said many more state charges were likely to be brought in connection with other people who were harmed in the attack.

What We Know About the Shooting in Highland Park (The New York Times)

Excerpt from The New York Times: A judge ordered Mr. Crimo held without bail on the murder charges on Wednesday. The police say a Smith & Wesson semiautomatic rifle was used in Monday’s attack. Deputy Chief Christopher Covelli of the Lake County Sheriff’s Office said the high-powered rifle used in the shooting appeared to have been purchased legally by Mr. Crimo in the Chicago area. Chief Covelli said Mr. Crimo planned the shooting for several weeks, but the authorities had not yet established a motive. Authorities said the gunman wore women’s clothing to disguise his identity. He climbed up a fire escape ladder to gain access to the roof where he staged his attack. After the shooting, Mr. Crimo left the scene on foot, blending in with fleeing paradegoers, the authorities said.
Embed from Getty Images

Late last month, Congress passed a bipartisan gun bill with a central component that aims to expand state red-flag laws. Less than two weeks later, the limitations of that effort became plain, writes The Atlantic. With better luck, Robert Crimo could have been a poster child for red-flag laws. Law-enforcement agencies had twice been alerted to disturbing behavior, yet he was still able to evade red-flag laws and purchase several guns, in a state with some of the nation’s strictest firearm laws.

Why Illinois’ Red-Flag Laws Didn’t Stop the Highland Park Shooting (The Atlantic)

Excerpt #1 from The Atlantic: In retrospect, the points where Illinois law broke and failed to stop Crimo are apparent. The problem is that making red-flag laws less porous requires a statute that either is a confusing kludge or raises troubling civil-liberties questions—or both—all in the service of a relatively simple goal of preventing dangerous people from getting guns. In effect, a strong red-flag law risks trampling on Fourth and Fifth Amendment rights in the name of protecting Second Amendment rights, while weaker red-flag laws may barely work at all.
Excerpt #2 from The Atlantic: The Highland Park shooting illustrates some of the challenges. As the Chicago Tribune reports, Highland Park cops were twice called because Crimo was a danger to himself or others: "In April 2019, police were called because Crimo had attempted suicide, which resulted in Highland Park police visiting his home. The family assured the responders that they were seeking help from mental health authorities, police said. Five months later, police were again called to Crimo’s home because he was threatening to kill people."
Excerpt #3 from The Atlantic: The local police concluded that they didn’t have probable cause to arrest Crimo, but they informed the Illinois State Police. In a statement, that agency said that "no one, including family, was willing to move forward on a complaint nor did they subsequently provide information on threats or mental health that would have allowed law enforcement to take additional action." Later, when Crimo sought to buy his guns, his father sponsored his application, and the State Police didn’t see any grounds to deny it. He got the guns.
Embed from Getty Images

Jump to this week's edition of:
World News (Part 1)
World News (Part 2)
US News
Special Report