Suspect in Highland Park massacre faces 110 new charges in grand jury indictment

Robert Crimo III is charged with 21 counts of murder, three for each person who died when he allegedly opened fire from a downtown roof during the Fourth of July parade. He also faces counts of attempted murder and aggravated battery for each of the 48 people wounded that day.

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Dozens of mourners gather on July 5 for a vigil near Central Avenue and St Johns Avenue in downtown Highland Park

Dozens of mourners gather on July 5 for a vigil near Central and St. Johns avenues in downtown Highland Park.

Anthony Vázquez/Sun-Times

The suspect in the Fourth of July massacre in Highland Park now faces 110 additional criminal charges after a Lake County grand jury issued an indictment Wednesday.

Robert Crimo III is charged in the indictment with 21 counts of murder, three counts for each person who died when he allegedly opened fire from a roof during a downtown parade.

He also faces counts of attempted murder and aggravated battery for each of the 48 people wounded that day. The indictment, for the first time, publicly identifies all those who were wounded, though eight of them are listed only by their initials because they are juveniles, officials said.

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One of the survivors named in the indictment is Elizabeth Turnipseed, who was mentioned in Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering’s prepared remarks at the July 20 Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the shooting.

Turnipseed was shot in the pelvis as she stood with her 3-year-old daughter and husband, the remarks say. A bullet entered and exited her body, grazing her major organs. Her husband handed off their daughter to strangers who took her to safety while he ran back to Turnipseed.

Turnipseed has several pieces of shrapnel in her leg, “may never walk unassisted again” and “has years of both physical and mental therapy” ahead, as does her family, the remarks say.

Crimo had initially been charged with seven counts of murder. He is expected to appear in court next Wednesday to be arraigned on the new charges.

“Our investigation continues,” Lake County State’s Attorney Eric Rinehart said in announcing the indictment. “And our victim specialists are working around the clock to support all those affected by this crime.”

The indictment came a day after Judge Victoria Rossetti signed an order preventing the prosecution and the defense from sharing evidence and materials with anyone outside the court.

During an initial court hearing two days after the shooting, prosecutors said Crimo had confessed that he fired more than 80 rounds from a rooftop into a crowd of spectators lining the downtown parade route.

On the day of the attack, Crimo dressed in women’s clothing and wore makeup to cover his face tattoos because he feared he would be recognized, prosecutors have said. Surveillance video allegedly shows Crimo walking down an alley behind a building at the northwest corner of Central Avenue and Second Street and climbing a fire escape to reach the roof.

Police found 83 shell casings. Paramedics took 52 people to hospitals and five people died at the parade, according to an ambulance report. Two people died later at hospitals.

Despite his disguise, police officers familiar with Crimo identified him in still images taken from surveillance cameras after the shooting, prosecutors said.

Video shows Crimo running down the alley with a bag over his shoulder, and dropping a rifle wrapped in a cloth, prosecutors said. Police recovered the weapon within minutes and traced it to Crimo, who had purchased it in 2020 when he was 19.

Crimo went to his mother’s nearby home and took off in her car as police launched a manhunt. He drove to Madison, Wisconsin, where he spotted a group of people and thought about shooting them with a second rifle in the car, authorities have said.

Crimo had about 60 rounds in the car with him, but he apparently felt he hadn’t put enough “thought and research” into opening fire, authorities said.

He turned back, dumped his cellphone in nearby Middleton and was finally spotted Monday evening in North Chicago, about eight hours after the shooting. He was arrested around 5:30 p.m. after a brief car chase.

The victims who died are: Katherine Goldstein, 64; Irina McCarthy, 35; Kevin McCarthy, 37; Jacki Sundheim, 63; Stephen Straus, 88, all of Highland Park; Nicolas Toledo, 78, of Morelos, Mexico; and Eduardo Uvaldo, 69, of Waukegan.

Contributing: Andy Grimm and Manny Ramos

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