Alleged gunman in Fourth of July mass shooting charged with murder, attempted murder

The man accused of opening fire on an Independence Day parade in suburban Chicago has been indicted by a grand jury on 21 counts of first degree murder, 48 counts of attempted murder and 48 counts of aggravated battery. amounting to the seven dead and dozens injured in the attack.

Prosecutors have previously filed seven murder charges against Robert E. Crimo III. They announced the grand jury’s decision on Wednesday to indict him on 117 charges.

Attorneys for the accused have yet to formally answer charges he faces in the July 4 shooting in downtown Highland Park, Illinois. A representative of the County Public Defense Office, which represents Crimo, said on Wednesday it would be publicly commenting on all cases.

Prosecutors have said the 21-year-old admitted to the shooting when police arrested him after an hours-long search on July 4.

Under Illinois law, prosecutors can request a grand jury to determine whether there is likely cause to sue. The Grand Jury proceedings are not open to the public and defense attorneys cannot question witnesses.

The multiple charges of first degree murder allege that the accused intended to kill, caused death or great bodily harm, and took action with a high probability of causing death or great bodily harm to the seven people who died .

Five police officers investigate a downtown area.
Law enforcement officers search for the gunman in downtown Highland Park in the hours after the shooting. (Nam Y. Huh/The Associated Press)

Prosecutors said on Wednesday that the 48 counts of attempted murder and 48 counts of aggravated battery with a firearm “represent any victim who was hit by a bullet, fragment of bullet or shrapnel”.

“I want to thank the law enforcement officers and prosecutors who presented the evidence to the grand jury today,” Lake County State attorney Eric Rinehart said in a statement. “Our investigation continues and our victim specialists are working around the clock to support all those involved in this crime that has resulted in the filing of 117 felonies.”

Mother of young survivor speaks out

Authorities say the ages of those injured ranged from eight to 80s, including an eight-year-old boy who was paralyzed from the waist down when a gunshot severed his spine.

In her first public comments since the shooting, the boy’s mother said in a video and written statement released Wednesday that the violence experienced by her family and others has taught them “the incredibly generous, caring, good and kind spirit.” that is part of the vast majority of our world.”

Keely Roberts described her son, Cooper Roberts, as “athletic” and “funny,” but said he still has a long way to go. Cooper was shot in the back. The bullet ripped through his body, damaging his aorta, liver, esophagus and spinal cord before exiting through his chest. Cooper has had multiple surgeries.

Cooper’s twin brother, Luke, suffered minor injuries from shrapnel, but his mother is concerned about the consequences of seeing his twin brother so violently wounded. She was also injured in the leg.

Roberts said she still sees a bright future for Cooper and thanked the parade-goers who helped the family in the aftermath of the shooting, along with health care providers and other first responders.

“He’s going to teach a lot of people that the lesson in this isn’t that one person did this horrible thing,” she said. “The lesson here is that thousands of people have done great things, kind things, and are still doing kind things.”

During a court hearing that presented the murder charges, prosecutors said police used more than 80 shell casings on the roof of a building along the parade route and the semi-automatic rifle used in the attack on the ground nearby. found.

Investigators believe the alleged gunman mixed with the fleeing mob to get away from the crime scene, then borrowed his mother’s car and briefly contemplated a second assault at a party in Madison, Wisc., before returning to Illinois where the police arrested him.

Crimo is due to appear in court on August 3.

A woman kneels and prays at a memorial on the sidewalk.
A woman prays at a memorial to the victims of the shooting in Highland Park on July 6. (Jim Vondruska/Getty Images)

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