Chicago gunman planned attack for weeks, wore women’s clothing

Wednesday, Jul 06, 2022

HIGHLAND PARK, United States: The suspected gunman who opened fire on a July 4 parade in a wealthy Chicago suburb planned the attack for weeks and wore women’s clothing to aid his escape, police said on Tuesday.

Robert Crimo, 21, who lived in Highwood, just north of Highland Park, where the shooting occurred, was arrested on Monday after six people were killed and more than 30 wounded during an Independence Day parade.

Police spokesman Christopher Covelli said no motive had been established for the attack, in which the gunman fired dozens of semi-automatic rounds from a rooftop into the crowd of paradegoers.

"We do believe Crimo pre-planned this attack for several weeks," and that he acted alone, Covelli said. "We have no information to suggest at this point it was racially motivated, motivated by religion or any other protected status."

Covelli said the gunman accessed the roof of a business overlooking the parade route using a fire escape and fired more than 70 rounds from a rifle "similar to an AR-15" that he had purchased legally.

"Crimo was dressed in women’s clothing and investigators believe he did this to conceal his facial tattoos and his identity and help him during the escape with the other people who were fleeing the chaos," he said.

Covelli said Crimo went to his mother’s nearby home after the shooting and borrowed her car. He was captured about eight hours later after a brief chase. He said the authorities were investigating disturbing online posts and videos made by Crimo, who had previous encounters with law enforcement, but "nothing of a violent nature."

The shooting has left the upscale suburb in shock. "We’re all still reeling," Mayor Nancy Rotering told NBC’s Today show. "Everybody knows somebody who was affected by this directly." The mayor said she personally knew the suspected gunman when he was a young boy in the Cub Scouts and she was a Cub Scout leader.