July 4 Highland Park shooter admits to deadly attack: prosecutor

Robert Crimo, the man accused of firing a semiautomatic rifle into an Independence Day parade in Highland Park, has admitted to authorities that he carried out the attack, the prosecutor said during the suspect's first court appearance on Wednesday, July 6.

The 21-year-old suspect Robert Crimo appeared before the court via a video link. Ben Dillon, a county prosecutor, told the court that the suspect confessed to the attack after he was apprehended. Judge Theodore Potkonjak denied allowing Crimo to be released on bail as “He does pose, in fact, a specific and present threat to the community.”

Although Crimo confessed to being the perpetrator, no plea was entered at the hearing. Since Crimo does not have a lawyer, a public defender was appointed to represent him.

Crimo faces seven first-degree murder charges. If convicted on seven counts of first-degree murder, he would face a mandatory life prison sentence without the possibility of parole. Eric Reinhart, the state's attorney for Lake County, said more charges are expected to be brought.

Crimo is next due to appear in court on July 28.

According to the authorities, Crimo planned the attack for weeks. On the day of the mass shooting, he used a Smith & Wesson semiautomatic rifle to fire more than 70 rounds randomly into parade spectators before making his getaway.

Seven people have been killed including Nicholas Toledo-Zaragoza, a 78 grandfather from Mexico visiting his family, Irina McCarthy, 35, and her husband, Kevin McCarthy, 37. The couple were the parents of a 2-year-old found wandering alone after the attack. The other dead included Jacki Sundheim, 63, a teacher at a nearby synagogue, Katherine Goldstein, 64, and Stephen Straus, 88. There is no information on the identity of the seventh victim.

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