A 21-year-old man who allegedly torched a parade dressed as women in a wealthy Chicago suburb on July 4 was charged Tuesday with seven counts of first-degree murder, prosecutors said.
Robert Cremo, 21, was arrested on Monday, hours after an attack on an Independence Day mob.
“There will be more charges,” Lake County State Attorney Eric Rinehart told reporters. “We anticipate that dozens more allegations will center around each victim.”
Police spokesman Christopher Covelli said the death toll on Tuesday rose to seven after one of the wounded died in hospital. More than 35 people were injured.
According to CBS News, among the dead were 37-year-old Kevin McCarthy and his wife, 35-year-old Irina – the parents of a two-year-old boy who was found walking alone after the shooting.
Koveli said no motive had been established for the attack, prompting panicked parade-goers to flee for their lives.
“We believe that Cremo pre-planned this attack for several weeks,” and he acted alone, he said.
“We have no information to suggest at this point that it was racially motivated, motivated by religion or any other protected status,” he said.
He said Cremo has a history of mental health issues and threatening behavior.
Police were called to Cremo’s home twice in 2019, once to investigate a suicide attempt, and another time because a relative said he threatened to “kill everyone” in the family, he said. .
He said the police took out 16 knives, a dagger and a sword from the house but did not make any arrests.
Coveli said that Cremo used a fire escape to reach the roof of a building overlooking the parade route and fired more than 70 rounds from a rifle “similar to an AR-15”, which It was one of the many guns he bought legally.
“Cremo wore women’s clothing and investigators believe he did so to hide his face tattoos and his identity and helped him escape with others who were fleeing the chaos, ” They said.
Coveli said that Cremo went to his mother’s house after the shooting and borrowed her car. He was caught after about eight hours of effort.
He also said that the authorities are investigating the harassing online posts and videos made by Cremo.
The shooting has left the suburb in shock.
“We’re all still reeling,” Mayor Nancy Rottering told the NBC Today show. “Everyone knows someone who was directly affected by it.”
Meyer said she personally knew the suspected gunman when he was a young boy in the Cub Scouts.
“How could someone get so angry, so disgusting then take it out on innocent people who were literally just having a family day?” Rotating asked.
Cremo, whose father unsuccessfully ran for mayor and owned a store called Bob’s Pantry & Deli in Highland Park, was an amateur musician who called himself “Awake the Rapper”.
Young Cremo’s online postings contain violent material that pertains to guns and shootings.
A YouTube video posted eight months ago featured cartoons of a gunman shooting and shooting people.
A voice-over says, “I just need to do it.”
It added: “This is my destiny. Everything has been led to it. Nothing can stop me, not even me.”
Cremo, who has the word “Awake” tattooed on his eyebrow, is seen sporting an “FBI” hat in several photos and the Trump flag as a cape in one photo.
According to the Gun Violence Archive, the shooting is the latest in a wave of gun violence in the United States, where about 40,000 deaths a year are caused by firearms.
The deeply divisive debate over gun control was revived in May by two massacres, in which 10 black people were shot in a New York supermarket, and 19 children and two teachers were killed at an elementary school in Texas.
The Highland Park shooting made a splash on Independence Day, when towns and cities across the United States have parades and people take part in barbecues, sporting events, and fireworks displays.
In another July 4 shooting, two police officers were injured when a fire broke out during a fireworks show in Philadelphia.
Emily Prazak, who marches in the parade in Highland Park, described the devastation.
“We heard pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, and I thought it was fireworks,” Prajak said.
President Joe Biden vowed to keep fighting the “epidemic of gun violence.”
Last week, he signed the first significant federal bill on gun safety in decades, just days after the Supreme Court ruled that Americans have a fundamental right to carry a handgun in public.