Highland Park July 4 shooting suspect had two prior incidents of suicidal, violent threats, police say

Police say there was no indication Robert Crimo had firearms at the time of these incidents

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The suspect in the Highland Park, Illinois July 4 mass shooting that killed seven and injured dozens had two "prior incidents" before the massacre, police said on Tuesday.

Robert "Bobby" E. Crimo, 21, was taken into custody Monday evening after gunning down revelers from a rooftop perch at the Highland Park July 4 parade. 

Robert E. Crimo, 22, has been identified as a person of interest in the July 4th parade attack in Highland Park, Illinois in which at least six people were killed. He was taken into police custody hours after the shooting.  

Robert E. Crimo, 22, has been identified as a person of interest in the July 4th parade attack in Highland Park, Illinois in which at least six people were killed. He was taken into police custody hours after the shooting.   (Highland Park Police Department)

Speaking to reporters at an afternoon press conference, Christopher Covelli, a spokesman for the Lake County Major Crime Task Force, said Crimo had two prior incidents before the shooting.

In April 2019, an individual called police a week after learning of Crimo attempting suicide, Covelli said. The matter was handled by mental health professionals with no law enforcement, he added.

HIGHLAND PARK JULY 4TH SHOOTING SUSPECT’S PARENTS WERE ‘A PROBLEM,’ SAYS FORMER COACH

In September 2019, a family member reported Crimo had a collection of knives and "was going to kill everyone," Covelli said. Police responded to the incident and seized 16 knives, a dagger, and a sword from Crimo’s possession, Covelli said. Highland Park police notified Illinois State Police of the incident but no further actions were taken.  

Robert Crimo III, 21, was taken into police custody after a brief car chase.

Robert Crimo III, 21, was taken into police custody after a brief car chase. (Katherine Rappel)

Despite these incidents, Crimo managed to legally buy two high-powered rifles and three other weapons that have since been recovered by officers from his father’s home. Covelli said there was no sign he had any guns at the time of the 2019 incident, nor had he any application pending for a gun.

Authorities arrested Crimo late Monday. Investigators who have interrogated the suspect and reviewed his social media posts have not determined a motive for the attack or found any indication that he targeted victims by race, religion or other protected status, Covelli said. 

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Authorities have yet to file formal charges.