Highland Park parade shooting: Stephen Straus, 88, remembered for his warmth, sense of humor

The funeral services for an 88-year-old man who tragically died at the Highland Park 4th of July parade are scheduled for Friday.

Stephen Straus is survived by his wife Linda, his children Jonathan and Peter, his grandchildren Tobias, Maxwell, Maisy and Oliver and his brother Larry.

According to his family, Straus was known for his warmth, kindness and strong sense of humor.

He was also known to frequent the Art Institute and symphonies. His family said he loved to take in all that life had to offer. 

At about 10 a.m. Monday, the 4th of July parade kicked off in downtown Highland Park. About 15 minutes later, gunshots were heard and numerous people along the crowded parade route were shot.

Straus was one of the individuals shot, and was transported to a local hospital, where he died from his injuries.

How to donate to Highland Park shooting victims and their families

His service is scheduled for Friday at 12:30 p.m. at Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation in Evanston.

Over two other dozen victims were transported or self-transported to local hospitals — most of which had gunshot wounds.

Highland Park police and other state, local and federal law enforcement agencies responded to the scene and began to search for the suspect.

A witness told police that they saw an individual with a gun on the rooftop of a building at the northwest corner of the intersection of Central Avenue and Second Street, prosecutors said.

The witness also said they saw the person scan the crowd with a gun and saw muzzle flashes.

Officers then began to retrieve surveillance video and images from nearby businesses as well as from parade attendees, prosecutors said.

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Crimo, 21, was allegedly seen on surveillance video walking east in an alley toward the back of the building at the northwest corner of Central Avenue and Second Street prior to the shooting.

Prosecutors say Crimo allegedly used an outside fire escape staircase of an attached building to gain access to the rooftop.

Police also found the shells of 83 bullets and three ammunition magazines on the rooftop that he fired from, Lake County Assistant State's Attorney Ben Dillon said.


After this shooting, surveillance video shows Crimo allegedly running west in that alley toward Green Bay Road, while carrying a black bag over his shoulder.

As Crimo was running, prosecutors say an object wrapped in cloth fell out of the bag and onto the pavement. Crimo allegedly left the object and continued running.

The wrapped object was recovered by investigators and identified as a Smith and Wesson M&P 15 semi-automatic rifle that had a round in the chamber, but no magazine inserted, prosecutors said. 

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives conducted an E-Trace of the Smith and Wesson with the serial number from the rifle.

The trace determined that Crimo obtained the weapon at a gun store in 2020, prosecutors said.

Police officers who were familiar with Crimo identified him in surveillance video. He also appeared to be wearing women's clothing on surveillance video.

After driving to Wisconsin following the Highland Park parade shooting, Crimo returned to Illinois because he felt he was not prepared to pull off another shooting, Lake County Major Crime Task Force spokesman Christopher Covelli said.

After an hours-long extensive search, police were able to take Crimo into custody at about 6:25 p.m. Monday during a traffic stop by a North Chicago police officer.

He faces seven counts of first-degree murder, and was denied bond Wednesday.