Highland Park shooting: Man confesses to firing into crowd in attack which killed seven

Credit: Ashlee Rezin /Chicago Sun-Times via AP / Lake County Major Crime Task Force via AP

The man charged with killing seven people in a fatal shooting in suburban Chicago has confessed to firing bullets into an Independence Day parade from a rooftop.

After the shooting in Highland Park, Robert E Crimo III, 21, then fled to the Madison area of Wisconsin where he contemplated carrying out another shooting, authorities said on Wednesday.

Seven people were killed and more than three dozen were injured after bullets were fired from a "high-powered rifle" from atop a building into a crowd that had gathered for the July 4 parade.

Dozens of mourners gathered for a vigil on Tuesday. Credit: Anthony Vazquez/Chicago Sun-Times via AP

After fleeing, the gunman turned back to Illinois after deciding he was not prepared to pull off a shooting in Wisconsin, Lake County Major Crime Task Force spokesman Christopher Covelli said at a news conference following a bond hearing.

Mr Covelli said it did not appear that the suspect had planned another attack in Wisconsin, but fled there, saw another Independence Day celebration and “seriously contemplated” firing on it.

The assailant had ditched the rifle he used in Illinois, but he had another rifle and about 60 more rounds with him, according to Mr Covelli.

Some of the wounded remain in critical condition, Mr Covelli said, and the death toll could still rise. An Illinois judge ordered the suspect to be held without bail.

Crimo evaded initial capture by dressing as a woman and blending into the fleeing crowd. He was arrested by police after a manhunt which lasted several hours.

This image taken from a video and provided by the Lake County Major Crime Task Force, shows Robert (Bobby) E. Crimo III dressed as a woman. Credit: Lake County Major Crime Task Force via AP

Lake County State's Attorney Eric Rinehart said he planned to bring attempted murder and aggravated battery with a firearm charges for each individual hurt.

“There will be many, many more charges coming,” he said at a news conference, estimating that those charges would be announced later this month.

He left the shells of 83 bullets and three ammunition magazines on the rooftop.

Irina and Kevin McCarthy were killed in the shooting, Their toddler has been left orphaned. Credit: GoFundMe

The names of seven of the victims have since been released. They are:

  • Kevin McCarthy, 37

  • Irina McCarthy, 35

  • Katherine Goldstein, 64

  • Jacquelyn Sundheim, 63

  • Stephen Straus, 88

  • Nicolas Toledo-Zaragoza, 78

  • Eduardo Uvaldo, 69

Crimo "pre-planned the attack" weeks in advance, Mr Covelli told reporters.

Nicolas Toledo was named as one of the victims of the attack by his family. Credit: GoFundMe

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

The suspect legally purchased the rifle used in the attack in Illinois within the past year.

In all, police said, he purchased five firearms, which were recovered by officers at his father’s home.

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