Crimo, 21, allegedly fired more than 80 rounds at a crowd of spectators Monday morning in a suburb of Chicago, killing seven people and injuring dozens, before fleeing the scene dressed as a woman, authorities said.
According to prosecutors, Crimo confessed to shooting at innocent paradegoers from a rooftop perch. He allegedly admitted to dressing up in a woman’s clothing and covering his tattoos in makeup to try and conceal is identity. After he fled the rooftop, according to prosecutors, his Smith & Wesson M&P 15 rifle fell out of his bag in a back alley.
Authorities said they recovered the rifle, three 30-round magazines and 83 spent shell casings. And prosecutors said police were familiar with him and able to identify him when they saw his face on surveillance and cellphone video.
Prosecutors filed a petition for the suspect to be held without bond and Judge Theodore S. Potkonjak agreed. Crimo faces up to life imprisonment.
After an hours-long manhunt, Crimo was arrested Monday evening while driving in his mother’s Honda Fit in Lake Forest, Illinois.
In announcing the charges Tuesday, Lake County State’s Attorney Eric Rinehart told reporters that Crimo will be hit with dozens of additional charges centered around each victim.
“These are just the first of many charges that will be filed against Mr Crimo. I just want to emphasize that,” the prosecutor said.
If convicted, Crimo would face a mandatory sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.
He was able to obtain a gun license at 19 with his dad sponsoring his application–despite two previous encounters with law enforcement that same year, according to a statement from the Illinois State Police.
In September 2019, he threatened to “kill everyone in his house” and police confiscated 16 knives, a dagger and sword but no complaint was filed. Months earlier, police responded to a reported suicide attempt.
The alarming behavior didn’t stop Crimo from going on to purchase five firearms – including an AR-15 style rifle found at the scene and another recovered from his mother’s car at the time of his arrest. Crimo, who went by the stage name “Awake the Rapper,” posted an ominous video to social media in 2021, featuring a stick figure wearing tactical gear carrying out an attack with a rifle.
Six victims have been identified by the Lake County Coroner’s Office as Katherine Goldstein, 64, Irina McCarthy, 35, Kevin McCarthy, 37, Jacquelyn Sundheim, 63, and Stephen Straus, 88, all of Highland Park; and Nicolas Toledo-Zaragoza of Morelos, Mexico, 78.
Crimo’s parents expressed sympathy for the victims and asked for privacy in a statement issued by their lawyer.
“We are all mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, and this is a terrible tragedy for many families, the victims, the parade-goers, the community, and our own,” they said. “Our hearts, thoughts, and prayers go out to everybody.”
Crimo is due back in court on July 28 for a preliminary hearing.