According to CNN, The Fourth of July parade shooter’s location — concealed on a rooftop along Highland Park’s Central Avenue — made it hard for law enforcement to figure out immediately where bullets were raining from when he opened fire with a semi-automatic rifle, the Illinois city’s police chief said Thursday.
“The noise was bouncing off the buildings. People were pointing in different directions,” Chief Lou Jogmen told CNN of the scene of fear and chaos that left seven people dead and dozens more wounded in yet another mass shooting in America.
The motive in the shooting remains unclear four days later.
“That’s the first thing people want to know,” Jogmen said. “At this point, I don’t think I can give you a why based on what I’m hearing from my investigators. … We’d love to have that reason out there so people could process (it), but I’m not sure that we’re there yet.”
As investigators work to determine what led up to the shooting, the Highland community continues to grieve those slain and hurt in the attack.
In the panicked aftermath, authorities spent nearly eight hours hunting for the shooter, fearing he would resume his killing spree, Jogmen said as he offered fresh details of the carnage and what followed.
“Was it a pause, was it a break?” Jogmen said, referring to questions authorities faced during the frantic search. “Is this person intent on continuing until he ended his life? Is this a person that was looking for an escape?”
Robert E. Crimo III was taken into custody by police at a traffic stop that same day after being tipped off by what they described as “an alert member of the community.” He was charged with seven counts of first-degree murder, and more charges are expected, prosecutors have said. He’s being held without bond.
In a voluntary statement, Crimo admitted to authorities he emptied two 30-round magazines before loading his weapon with a third and firing again, Lake County Assistant State’s Attorney Ben Dillon said Wednesday during a virtual bail hearing. If convicted, Crimo faces a life sentence in prison.
While authorities say Crimo acted alone, Lake County State’s Attorney Eric Rinehart has declined to comment on whether anyone connected could face charges.
There’s no criminal liability for sponsoring someone’s application for an identification card that Illinois requires to buy a weapon in the state — a sponsorship authorities say Crimo’s father provided for his son’s application because the son was under 21 — Rinehart said Thursday, adding his office still is trying to determine “who knew what when.”