Police said a man accused of the Chicago shooting had been planning the attack for weeks before killing seven people at a 4th of July event. Police believe that 21-year-old Robert Crimo III legally purchased the powerful gun he used in the assault. According to officials, the suspect is thought to have dressed as a woman to flee the scene with the crowd. In addition, over 30 people were hurt in the shooting on Monday in the upscale Chicago suburb of Highland Park.
The shooting, during which the alleged shooter is accused of firing more than 70 rounds, is still being investigated by police, who say they are still putting the pieces together. Chris Covelli, a spokesman for the Lake County Major Crime Task Force, said during a press conference that they thought the suspect walked to his mother’s house wearing women’s clothing as a disguise to flee the scene. He appeared to be an innocent bystander as well, blending in seamlessly with everyone else as they ran around, Mr. Covelli said at a press conference. Police assume that before opening fire on the crowd below, the man climbed up a fire escape ladder to the roof of a store that overlooked the procession route.
Investigators think the suspect’s disguise helped him escape by hiding his facial tattoos. After a brief chase, police detained the 21-year-old while he was operating a vehicle. He was found to own a second rifle similar to the one used in the attack. Police stated that additional firearms were also discovered in Mr. Crimo’s home, but no further information was given.
According to police, information gleaned from a weapon left at the scene served as a “significant investigative lead” that assisted in the identification of the culprit. Without any evidence that the attack was driven by racial or religious prejudice, they think the Highland Park victims were picked at random.
Authorities are still debating what crimes to accuse Mr. Crimo of committing, he is thought to have acted alone. Monday’s 10:15 a.m. (15:15 GMT) shooting started just before Highland Park’s annual Fourth of July parade.