Highland Park shooting suspect pleads not guilty to 117 counts

The man accused of carrying out a mass shooting in Highland Park, Illinois, on the Fourth of July pleaded not guilty to all charges on Wednesday.

Robert Crimo III, the defendant, is facing allegations of committing 117 acts of homicide against seven people and inflicting injuries on more than 30 other individuals.

Three of his lawyers were seated beside Crimo, restrained and disguised, wearing a jumpsuit from Lake County Jail, as they appeared in court on Wednesday for his arraignment.

Charged with 21 counts of first-degree murder (three counts for each victim), the 21-year-old is accused of using a gun (for every individual struck by a bullet, bullet fragment, or shrapnel) and faces 48 charges of aggravated battery and 48 charges of attempted murder.

If the suspect is convicted of murdering any two people, he will face life in prison without the possibility of parole, as stated by Eric Reinhart, the Lake County State’s Attorney, during the arraignment.

Reinhart stated that the defendant’s legal team did not request a trial during the hearing on Wednesday.

Reinhart commended the police, the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office, and victim experts who offered counseling for those affected by the shooting incident, abstaining from making statements regarding evidence, charging choices, or the progress of the inquiry.

Lawyers agreed to come back on November 1st for a conference on case management.

As per law enforcement, the seventh individual tragically passed away due to his injuries at a medical facility on July 5th, one person also lost their life at a hospital on the same day, and five of the individuals who were fatally shot died at the location of the incident.

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As per law enforcement, the accused purportedly discharged over 70 rounds from a vantage point on the roof of a building that overlooked the July 4 procession in the outskirts of Chicago.

According to the Office of the Sheriff in Lake County, the perpetrator had been planning the shooting for several weeks.

As per the authorities, a semi-automatic firearm was discovered at the location subsequent to it slipping out of the perpetrator’s bag during their departure. The suspect, identified as Crimo, was attired in attire typically worn by women, seemingly to assimilate with the masses while making their getaway, as stated by the police.

After some time had passed and he was apprehended, the individual was operating the vehicle in which law enforcement discovered an additional firearm that had been obtained in a lawful manner, according to investigators. Additionally, three other firearms, including two handguns that the individual had legally acquired, were confiscated from his father’s residence by investigators.

Crimo, a component of his gun license application, did not come to light when background checks were conducted on two concerning interactions with law enforcement.

In 2019, the police were called to his home in September for the second time when a family member claimed that Crimo, a member of the family, was threatening to kill. The police assured his parents that he would receive help from mental health professionals, but in April 2019, after he attempted suicide, the police checked on him as a suspect.

At the time, the Highland Park Police Department determined that the shooter posed a “clear and present danger,” according to police records.

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