Robert Crimo faces life without parole after being charged with seven counts of first degree murder over Highland Park shootings

‘We must do everything we can to make sure the horror that marked these streets never happens again’

Highland Park mayor reveals she was Chicago shooter's Cub Scout leader

Robert Crimo, the young man accused of attacking a 4 July parade in the Chicago suburbs, has been charged with seven counts of first degree murder.

Barely 24 hours after authorites announced they had arrested the 21-year-old, who allegedly attacked the parade at Highland Park with a high-powered rifle, they said the seven charges were likely only the first to be brought, and that more could follow. If convicted, it will lead to a mandatory life sentence without the possibility of parole.

“In the courtroom, we will seek the maximum sentence against this offender. Not because we seek vengeance, but because justice and the healing process demand it,” said Lake County State’s Attorney Eric Rinehart.

Mr Rinehart also called for an assault weapons ban in the state of Illinois. And as he announced the charges, there were cheers from members of the public gathered to listen.

In addition to the seven people who were killed, several dozens were injured. The gunman is said to have fired at least 70 rounds, and was carrying magazines containing 30 bullets each, police said.

“We must do everything we can to make sure the horror that marked these streets, that echoed through these buildings, never happens again,” said Mr Rinehart.

“All of the people who died steps from here lost their freedom, all of it. Every ounce of freedom that they had. The freedom to love. The freedom to learn. And the freedom to live a full life.”

He added: “Their freedom matters too. We must do more as we think and reflect upon their freedom on this July 5.”

Biden mentions Highland Park shooting in Independence Day speech

Details of the charges leveled at the young man who styled himself as a singer called Awake the Rapper, came as it was revealed he had legally bought two high-powered rifles and three other weapons, despite authorities being called to his home twice since 2019. Officials said he had also threatened suicide and violence.

A spokesman for the Lake County Major Crime Task Force told a press conference, that Mr Crimo allegedly used a high-powered rifle “similar to an AR-15” to spray more than 70 rounds from atop a commercial building into a crowd that had gathered for the parade in Highland Park.

Police said they were called to the suspect’s home in September 2019 after a family member called to say he was threatening “to kill everyone” in the home. Task force spokesman Christopher Covelli said police confiscated 16 knives, a dagger and a sword, but said there was no sign he had any guns at the time.

Also on Tuesday, officials said they believed that the alleged gunman had spent several weeks planning the attack and wore women’s clothing during his getaway from a rooftop.

Mr Rinehart was asked why a red flag warning had not been sought in 2019, after police went to his home.

Two police officers stand their post, the day after a deadly mass shooting, on the Westside of the Highland Park

“I don’t know the internal process of Illinois State Police in terms of after that report was taken. We know there was not an application pending at that time,” he said.

The state has since the Illinois Firearm Restraining Order.

“The goal of this tool is to ensure the safety of the individual and those around him. It allows courts to temporarily remove guns and prevent the purchase of new guns by individuals who pose a significant risk,” he said.

It is known that on Monday afternoon, Mr Crimo was detained by authorities after a traffic stop near Lake Forest, a Chicago suburb about six miles to the north of where the attack on the Independence Day parade was carried out.

Additional reporting by agencies

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