Police say charges will be announced this evening against a 21-year-old man as the coroner has released the identities of six of the seven victims killed in the mass shooting in Highland Park.
Lake County Coroner Jennifer Banek identified the victims as Katherine Goldstein, 64, of Highland Park; Irina McCarthy, 35, of Highland Park; Kevin McCarthy, 37, of Highland Park; Jacquelyn Sundheim, 63, of Highland Park; Stephen Straus, 88, of Highland Park; and Nicolas Toledo-Zaragoza, 78, of Morelos, Mexico.
Autopsies on the six are being completed today at the Lake County Coroner’s Office.
The identity of the seventh victim who died at a hospital on Tuesday is being withheld until an autopsy is completed by the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office.
Police have named Robert E. Crimo III, 21, of Highwood, as a person of interest in the shooting. He was arrested in Lake Forest around 6:30 p.m. Monday.
Charges are expected to be announced against Crimo during a press conference at 5:15 p.m. Tuesday in downtown Highland Park.
Lake County Major Crime Task Force Spokesman Christopher Covelli said that Crimo pre-planned the attack for several weeks.
Crimo allegedly brought a high-powered rifle to the Fourth of July parade in Highland Park.
Covelli said that Crimo used a fire escape ladder to access the roof of a building on the parade route.
Crimo then allegedly opened fire on parade-goers, killing seven people and injuring over 40 people. Over 70 rounds were fired from the rifle.
Crimo, who was dressed as a woman, exited the roof, dropped the rifle and escaped with the fleeing crowd, according to Covelli.
Crimo walked to his mother’s Highland Park home, which is nearby the parade route, and borrowed her silver 2010 Honda Fit, Covelli said.
A person spotted the wanted Honda Fit as it traveled southbound on Route 41 in North Chicago around 6:30 p.m. Monday as an intense manhunt was underway.
The person called 911 and a North Chicago police officer who was sitting at Route 41 and Buckley Road in North Chicago spotted Crimo drive past in the vehicle, Covelli and Highland Park Police Chief Lou Jogmen said.
A short pursuit ensued and it came to an end at Route 41 and Westleigh Road in Lake Forest.
Officers arrested Crimo and located a second rifle in his vehicle. The two rifles along with three other guns seized were legally purchased by Crimo himself.
Covelli said in a follow-up press conference that law enforcement had two prior encounters with Crimo.
One of those occurred in April 2019 when Highland Park police responded to a delayed report from a family member that Crimo attempted suicide.
Officers spoke to Crimo and his parents and determined the matter was being handled by mental health professionals, Covelli said.
The second encounter was in September 2019 when a family member reported Crimo threatened to “kill everyone.”
Police responded and removed 16 knives and other weapons from his residence. They then notified the Illinois State Police but did not arrest Crimo.
Covelli said there are no indications anyone else was involved in the Monday shooting.
Investigators are continuing to work on the case by conducting interviews and reviewing videos, Covelli said.
Toledo was a grandfather of “many” and father of eight who attended the parade in what was supposed to be a “fun family day,” Xochil Toledo said, adding that it “turned into a horrific nightmare for us all.”
Sundheim was a lifelong resident of North Shore Congregation Israel and previously taught at Gates of Learning Preschool, according to North Shore Congregation Israel.
“Jacki’s work, kindness and warmth touched us all, from her early days teaching at the Gates of Learning Preschool to guiding innumerable among us through life’s moments of joy and sorrow as our Events and B’nei Mitzvah Coordinator– all of this with tireless dedication,” the congregation said in a statement.
“There are no words sufficient to express the depth of our grief for Jacki’s death and sympathy for her family and loved ones. We know you join us in the deepest prayer that Jacki’s soul will be bound up in the shelter of God’s wings and her family will somehow find comfort and consolation amidst this boundless grief,” the statement added.
Highland Park Police Department Commander Chris O’Neill said the shooting occurred around 10:14 a.m. Monday near Second Street and Central Avenue in Highland Park.
An Independence Day parade was in progress on the street when police officers, who were standing by at the event, heard gunfire, O’Neill said.
Police attempted to locate the source of the shooting and found numerous people shot.
A coordinated response with the fire department was initiated and a police perimeter was set up, O’Neill said.
Firearm evidence, including a rifle, was located on a rooftop of a business and secured, he said.
O’Neill said the shooting was a random act of violence.
Covelli said initial indications show the suspect was “discreet” and hard to see on the roof of a business when he opened fire on the crowd using a high-powered rifle.
Numerous attendees who were attending the Fourth of July parade reported hearing gunfire and people began running for safety. Some people said the shots sounded like fireworks.
Some attendees said the gunman was on the roof of Uncle Dan’s Camping and Travel, 621 Central Avenue.
Five victims died at the scene and two other victims died at local hospitals, Covelli said.
Covelli said hospitals throughout Lake and Cook counties received patients from the incident, with conditions ranging from critical to serious.
Highland Park Fire Chief Joe Schrage said that six patients were transported to Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital and seven patients were transported to Evanston Hospital.
A spokesperson for NorthShore University HealthSystem said they received 39 patients at Evanston, Glenbrook, Highland Park and Skokie hospitals. Some of them arrived by ambulance and others were self-transported by car.
A spokesperson for Northwestern Medicine said that Lake Forest Hospital received nine victims from the incident. Six of the nine were gunshot victims.
The total number of injured victims treated at hospitals is believed to be at least 48.
NorthShore University HealthSystem Dr. Brigham Temple said that Highland Park Hospital activated “code yellow,” which means mass casualty event, after receiving notification of the shooting Monday morning.
Within a short amount of time, numerous ambulances began showing up at the hospital with patients.
Nearly all of the victims at Highland Park Hospital sustained gunshot wounds.
Temple said at least four or five children treated at Highland Park Hospital sustained gunshot wounds.
One of the children was critically injured and underwent surgery. That child was then flown to Comer Children’s Hospital in Chicago.
There were a number of “heroic actions” by members of the community, police and paramedics who rushed in immediately following the shooting to provide aid to the injured, Covelli said.
Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker spoke during a press conference Monday evening where he began by crediting the actions of law enforcement who ran toward the gunshots. “[…] lives were saved because the Highland Park Police courageously protected and served their community.”
Pritzker vowed to residents of Highland Park that the suspect would be brought to justice.
He also said that he spoke with President Joe Biden who pledged all support the White House could provide. “The President agrees with me: This madness must stop,” Pritzker said.
“There are no words for the kind of evil that shows up at a public celebration of freedom, hides on a roof and shoots innocent people with an assault rifle. There are no words I can offer to lessen the pain of those families who will no longer associate the 4th of July with celebration, but instead with grief,” Pritzker said.
“It is devastating that a celebration of America was ripped apart by our uniquely American plague. A day dedicated to freedom has put into stark relief the one freedom we as a nation refuse to uphold – the freedom of our fellow citizens to live without the daily fear of gun violence,” the governor said.
Lake County Board Chair Sandy Hart said she was “without words to respond to, yet again, another act of senseless violence, that this time has occurred right here in Lake County.”
“My heart goes out to the victims and their loved ones, the Highland Park community, and its leadership, and to those who responded today and continue to do so, to this horrific event. Lake County and our partnering agencies stand with and beside you through it all to provide the support that is needed,” Hart said.
The Lake County Major Crime Task Force, Highland Park Police Department and FBI are leading the investigation into the incident.
Covelli said “hundreds” of law enforcement officers swarmed the area Monday as a manhunt began for the suspect.
Anyone with first-hand information about Crimo is urged to contact the FBI tip line at 1-800-CALL-FBI, police officials said.
Congressman Brad Schneider said he and his campaign team were gathering at the start of the parade when the shooting started.
“My team and I are safe and secure,” Schneider said.
“We are monitoring the situation closely and in touch with the Mayor. Hearing of loss of life and others injured. My condolences to the family and loved ones; my prayers for the injured and for my community; and my commitment to do everything I can to make our children, our towns, our nation safer. Enough is enough!” he added.