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The suspect, identified by police as Robert Crimo III, 21, of Highwood, remains in custody Tuesday morning. He was arrested in Lake Forest Monday night following an hours-long manhunt.
Lake County Major Crimes Task Force spokesman Chris Covelli said at a Tuesday morning press conference that Crimo fired more than 70 rounds into the parade.
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Covelli said Crimo planned the shooting for weeks and accessed the rooftop of a building.
After the shooting, Crimo left his rifle and climbed down to escape while wearing women’s clothing to blend in and hide his facial tattoos, Covelli said.
Covelli said Crimo then went to his mother’s house and borrowed her car which he was driving when he was taken into custody.
The weapon was purchased legally, Covelli said. A second rifle was in the car, which investigators believe was also purchased legally.
Police said Tuesday Crimo was involved in two prior incidents in Highland Park.
The most recent incident happened in September 2019, when a family member told police Crimo had a knife collection and “was going to kill everyone,” police said. Police removed knifes from Crimo’s possession.
Months earlier, in April 2019, someone called police one week after learning Crimo tried to kill himself, police said. Police spoke with Crimo and his parents and learned mental health professionals were handling the situation.
Authorities said the weapon used in the July 4 shooting was purchased after those incidents.
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Cell phone video captured the sound of gunfire during Highland Park’s July Fourth parade.
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Officials said at least seven people were killed and more than 30 injured.
ABC News has learned that Crimo is being questioned and his social media posts are being examined.
Parade-goers were seen taking cover anywhere they could.
“On a day that we came together to celebrate community and freedom, we are instead mourning the tragic loss of life and struggling with the terror that was brought upon us,” Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering said.
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By mid-afternoon Monday, police identified Crimo as a person of interest.
A third of a mile from the shooting scene, SWAT officers camped out at a home allegedly connected to Crimo.
At about 6:30 p.m., after a resident called 911, a North Chicago police officer spotted Crimo at Route 41 and Buckley Road, police said.
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There was a brief pursuit, but the vehicle was stopped at Westleigh Road and Route 41 in Lake Forest.
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Crimo was taken into custody without incident. He was then transported to the Highland Park Police Department, sources told ABC7.
Crimo’s arrest came more than eight hours after the rampage. He had traveled to different areas, including Wisconsin’s Madison area, before he was stopped.
Paul Crimo, the uncle of Robert Crimo III, spoke with ABC News and said he was a quiet guy and lived in a back unit of a home owned in Highwood by his father.
Paul Crimo said the last time he saw Bobby Crimo was Sunday night at 5 p.m. when passing through the house and only said hello.
Bobby Crimo never mentioned political views or talked about weapons or firearms, his uncle said.
“I feel sorry of all the families that lost lives, the six people,” Paul Crimo said before the seventh death was announced. “My heart goes out to them.”
Crimo has ties to Rockford, De Kalb and Elgin.
The father of the person of interest had previously run for mayor of Highland Park in 2019, according to three individuals who knew him and public news reporting from the time.
The father, Robert Crimo Jr., was defeated by incumbent Mayor Nancy Rotering, according to ABC7 election results, and only received 28% of the vote.
A local business owner in Highland Park who grew up with Crimo Jr., the father, told ABC News that he was “trying his hardest to help his community” but “probably didn’t have that much of a chance.”
Residents are still in shock at everything that transpired.
“Thinking about seeing all of my students at the parade, today, and just knowing this is something that they witnessed that they will have to process and go through – it’s sickening,” witness Lauren Sachs said.
ABC News contributed to this report.