Highland Park parade suspect Robert Crimo III contemplated a second attack in the area of Madison, Wisconsin, and he was also in adjacent Middleton, in the hours after the Illinois massacre, authorities revealed in a news conference.
In the news conference, Illinois officials revealed that Crimo drove to both Madison and Middleton, contemplated attacking a “celebration” in the Madison-area, and then ditched his cell phone in Middleton.
He then drove back to Illinois, where he was arrested and accused of murdering seven people and injuring more than two dozen others in the attack on the Highland Park Fourth of July parade. Crimo, 21, was from Highland Park and had long ties to that community.
Madison, Wisconsin, is about two and a half hours northwest of Highland Park. It is the state capital and home to the main campus of the University of Wisconsin. Middleton is a suburb adjacent to Madison.
Here’s what you need to know:
Authorities Revealed Crimo Decided Not to Attack the Madison Celebration Because He Hadn’t Researched or Planned It Out
Lake County State’s Attorney Eric Rinehart said in a news conference that Crimo would be held without bond.
He was questioned in the Highland Park Police Department and gave a detailed statement “about what he had done. He admitted to what he had done,” Rinehart said.
“We don’t want to speculate on motives right now,” he added. Rinehart said that Crimo “emptied one clip” of 30 rounds from the roof of the store in Highland Park. Crimo then reloaded a second clip and emptied that and then reloaded a third time, according to Rinehart.
Then Crimo, dressed as a woman, ditched his rifle and walked from the scene to his mother’s house, where he took her car and drove to Wisconsin, authorities said.
Chris Covelli, a spokesman for the Lake County Major Crime Task Force, said in the news conference that Crimo drove to Madison, Wisconsin. He was driving around and saw a celebration going on there and “seriously contemplated using the firearm he had in his vehicle to commit another shooting in Madison.”
He had approximately 60 rounds left at that time.
Covelli said Crimo’s motivation was not clear, but he had “some type of affinity to the number 4 and 7, and the inverse was 74.” The attack occurred on 7-4-22.
According to NBC News, Crimo had played the video game “Hitman,” which has a character named Agent 47. Furthermore, some gangs use the number to refer to an AK-47 assault rifle, NBC reported, adding that Crimo had the number tattooed on his face.
Crimo was driving around following the first attack and “saw the celebration,” Covelli said.
Covelli did not name that celebration.
“We don’t have information to suggest he drove to Madison initially to plan another attack,” said Covelli. Rather, he was just driving around.
He “hadn’t put enough thought and research into it,” which is why he decided not to attack Madison, according to Covelli.
Crimo Dumped His Phone in Middleton, Authorities Said
Covelli wasn’t sure why Crimo decided to come back from Madison, but he disposed of his phone in Middleton, where it was recovered, said Covelli.
His cell phone was recovered by the FBI in the 6500 block of University Avenue in Middleton, Covelli said. According to Google Maps, that area has a number of commercial businesses, such as a Walgreens, a bank and a hardware store. It’s not clear what Crimo was doing specifically on that street.
Crimo had a Kel-Tec sub-2000 weapon in Madison, Covelli said.
Crimo’s purchase of the weapons has caused controversy.
In 2020, he bought four weapons, including the weapon used in the attack. He was 19, under the legal limit to buy firearms on his own, but his father sponsored him to get a FOID card, according to authorities. In 2021, he purchased another weapon, which was after his 21st birthday.
Covelli did not want to say whether Crimo’s father was cooperating with the investigation.
In 2019, Highland Park notified the state police about knives Crimo possessed after an incident at his home.
Covelli did not want to speak to the State Police’s procedure. They approved the FOID application.
The mass shooting came as the nation continued to reel from mass shootings in places like a grocery store in Buffalo, New York, and an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.