HIGHLAND PARK, Ill. - In announcing charges against Robert Crimo III, Lake County State's Attorney Eric Rinehart called Monday's mass parade shooting "a premeditated and calculated attack" and promised to pursue the maximum possible sentence under Illinois law.
Rinehart added the charges announced Tuesday are just the beginning.
"Today the Lake County State's Attorneys office has charged Robert Crimo III with seven counts of first degree murder for the killing spree that he has unleashed against our community," Rinehart said, drawing applause from several onlookers.
Rinehart said he expects to announce dozens of more charges against Crimo in the coming days, including attempted murder, aggravated battery, and aggravated discharge in an attack he described as "well-orchestrated and carefully planned."
"These are just the first of many charges being filed against Mr. Crimo," Rinehart said. "I want to emphasize that: there will be more charges. We anticipate dozens of more charges centering around each of the victims."
If convicted, Crimo will face life in prison without the possibility of parole.
"These state murder charges are appropriate at this time," said U.S. Attorney John Lausch of Illinois' Northern District. "We will continue to deploy our federal resources in collaboration with state and local partners to ensure that individuals who commit horrific acts of violence are held accountable."
Wednesday morning, Crimo will face a judge in bond court. Rinehart said he will ask the judge to hold him in custody without the possibility of bail.
Earlier Tuesday, members of the Lake County Major Crimes Task Force said Crimo was suicidal in early 2019 and in September of that year, his family members called police saying he wanted to "kill everyone."
Police confiscated 16 knives, a dagger, and a sword from his house, but just four months later, Crimo was approved for a FOID card with his father's sponsorship. FOX 32 received the following statement from Illinois State Police regarding Crimo's ability to legally purchase firearms:
"In December 2019, at the age of 19, the individual applied for a FOID card. The subject was under 21 and the application was sponsored by the subject's father. 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 does have a 'red flag law' known as the "Illinois Firearm Restraining Order" which allows courts to temporarily take guns away from people and prohibits them from buying new ones while they seek mental health treatment. Obviously, many questions remain as to why that order did not take effect in the wake of Crimo's mental health incidents and the reported threats he made in 2019.
If you or a loved one is feeling distressed, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. The crisis center provides free and confidential emotional support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to civilians and veterans. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (tel:18002738255). Or text HOME to 741-741 (Crisis Text Line). CLICK HERE for the warning signs and risk factors of suicide. Call 1-800-273-TALK for free and confidential emotional support.