Robert Crimo III confessed to committing the mass shooting from a rooftop overlooking a Fourth of July parade in Highland Park, Il., and investigators said he considered committing a similar shooting in Madison, Wi., that same day, reports the Washington Post. Crimo was held without bond because he poses a threat to the community, a judge ruled during Crimo’s first court appearance since allegedly shooting more than 80 rounds from a semiautomatic rifle and fleeing the scene in women’s clothing to disguise his identity. The rampage left seven dead and dozens injured. Authorities were still searching for a motive, as reports of the suspect’s past encounters with police raised questions about how he purchased five firearms over two years and whether the massacre could have been averted.
Police came into contact with Crimo in April 2019 over a report he had attempted suicide and again in September 2019 when a Crimo family members called police saying he had threatened to “kill everyone.” Officers confiscated knives and a sword from Crimo’s home but filed no charges. Crimo’s parents said through their lawyer that they saw no warning signs of the massacre and don’t know what motivated him. Crimo’s father signed a form in 2019 allowing his son, then under 21, to seek a card that authorizes state residents to own a firearm. Crimo family lawyer said, "If there were really problems that were missed, then co-workers missed them, friends missed them, teachers missed them, and family missed them.” On Monday, after leaving the parade route, Crimo went to his mother’s house, took her car and headed north. As he drove in the college town of Madison, he saw another Fourth of July celebration and considered using a Kel-Tec rifle and 60 rounds in his car to commit another shooting. In 2020, Crimo was a fixture at rallies in support of President Trump and gatherings of far-right activists, said Rachael Wachstein, who organizes social justice events in Highland Park.