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Highland Park parade shooting suspect pleads not guilty to more than 100 charges

CBS Chicago logo CBS Chicago 8/3/2022 Asal Rezaei

CHICAGO (CBS)-- The accused gunman in the mass shooting at the July 4th parade in Highland Park pleaded not guilty Wednesday to more than 100 felony charges.

Robert "Bobby" Crimo was indicted by a grand jury last week on 117 felony counts; including murder, attempted murder, and aggravated battery.

He faces 21 counts of first-degree murder - three counts for each person who died - along with 48 counts of attempted murder and 48 counts of aggravated battery, one for each surviving victim who was struck by a bullet, bullet fragment, or shrapnel, according to Lake County prosecutors.

Dressed in jail clothing and wearing a mask at his brief, nine-minute arraignment hearing, Crimo pleaded not guilty to all charges, speaking a total of 14 times as a judge asked him if he understood the charges against him.

Robert E. Crimo III, walks in to the courtroom during a hearing in Lake County court Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2022, in Waukegan, Ill. Nam Y. Huh / AP © Provided by CBS Minnesota Robert E. Crimo III, walks in to the courtroom during a hearing in Lake County court Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2022, in Waukegan, Ill. Nam Y. Huh / AP

He is due back in court on Nov. 1 for a case management hearing. If convicted of killing at least two people, he will face a mandatory life sentence. The attempted murder charges also carry up to life in prison, and the aggravated battery charges each carry up to 30 years in prison.

Father Robert Crimo Jr., right, and mother Denise Pesina attend to a hearing for their son in Lake County court Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2022, in Waukegan, Ill. Nam Y. Huh / AP © Provided by CBS Minnesota Father Robert Crimo Jr., right, and mother Denise Pesina attend to a hearing for their son in Lake County court Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2022, in Waukegan, Ill. Nam Y. Huh / AP

Those who were killed in the attack were 64-year-old Katherine Goldstein, of Highland Park; 35-year-old Irina McCarthy, of Highland Park; 37-year-old Kevin McCarthy, of Highland Park; 63-year-old Jacquelyn Sundheim, of Highland Park; 88-year-old Stephen Straus, of Highland Park; 78-year-old Nicolas Toledo-Zaragoza, of Morelos, Mexico; and 69-year-old Eduardo Uvaldo, of Waukegan.    


Video: Services to be held for 3 Highland Park parade shooting victims (CBS Chicago)

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Prosecutors have said surveillance video from the shooting showed the gunman using a fire escape ladder to access the roof of a building at the northwest corner of Central Avenue and 2nd Street in Highland Park, and then fleeing down an alley behind that building after the shooting, where he dropped the rifle he'd used, and then wrapped in a cloth before fleeing the scene.  

Authorities have not determined a specific motive for the attack, but Christopher Covelli of the Lake County Major Crime Task Force has said the shooter "had some type of affinity toward the number 4 and 7, and inverse with 7/4," a suggestion the attack might have been specifically timed for July 4. 

Police also have said, after fleeing the scene of the mass shooting in Highland Park, the gunman drove to Wisconsin, and "seriously contemplated using the firearm he had in his vehicle to commit another shooting in Madison" after coming across a celebration there, but did not carry out a second attack.

He was later arrested in Lake Forest, following a chase from North Chicago. When he was questioned by police, the accused shooter provided a voluntary statement confessing to his actions, saying he looked down the sights of the rifle, aimed, and opened fire at people across the street from the rooftop during the Highland Park July 4th parade.

The accused shooter is being held without bond as he awaits trial.

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