Portland News

Independence Day Shooter Initially Planned a Second Attack

A woman lights up a candle to honor the victims of the Independence Day shooting. Photo: Anthony Vazquez
A woman lights up a candle to honor the victims of the Independence Day shooting. Photo: Anthony Vazquez

The country mourns after a gunman opened fire during an independence parade, leaving seven dead and many more injured.

Robert Crimo Jr, the father of suspect Rober Crimo III, told the New York Post that he hopes his son will serve a lengthy prison sentence.

“I want a long sentence,” he said. “That’s life. You know you have consequences for actions. He made a choice. He didn’t have to do that.”

According to Lake County District Attorney Eric Rinehart, Crimo faces charges of murder and those he injured.

“It’s vital to the healing of this community that every single victim receives justice,” said Rinehart.

Second planned attack, police say

It was revealed that after the incident in Highland Park, Crimo traveled to Madison, Wisconsin and considered a shootout before deciding not to go. Residents of Highland Park paid their respects in the days that followed, and hundreds of people gathered for a candlelight vigil on Wednesday evening, bringing orange ribbons to signal gun violence awareness.

While a gun was recovered near the crime scene, Crimo had an additional gun with 60 rounds in the car.

The FBI alerted Madison police on Monday afternoon, warning that Crimo was at large and may be in the area.

After Crimo’s arrest, officials said he went into detail about what he had done and admitted to his crimes in voluntary statements during questioning.

First encounters with the police

Information has emerged showing that Crimo was able to purchase firearms in Illinois despite two encounters with police in 2019. In April 2019, the police were alerted that Crimo had attempted suicide. They talked to him and his family about him and left the matter to mental health professionals.

Later, in September 2019, Crimo allegedly threatened family members and said he would “kill everyone.” The police seized 16 knives, a dagger and a sword from his collection.

The knives were just a collection, Crimo said. They were returned the same day. Since then, Crimo has legally purchased five firearms, including rifles, pistols and possibly a shotgun, with a license granted to him by his father when he was 19. Crimo passed four background checks for its purchase.

Opinions expressed by Portland News contributors are their own.