Watch CBS News

Highland Park parade shooting suspect indicted on 117 felony counts

Highland Park victims honored at funerals
Highland Park parade shooting victims honored at funerals 02:16

The man accused of opening fire on an Independence Day parade in suburban Chicago has been indicted by a grand jury on 21 first-degree murder counts, 48 counts of attempted murder and 48 counts of aggravated battery

Prosecutors previously filed seven murder charges against Robert E. Crimo III. They announced the grand jury's decision to indict him on 117 felony charges on Wednesday.

Attorneys for the suspect have not made a formal response yet to any of the charges he faces in the July Fourth shooting that killed seven people, wounded more than 30, and sent spectators fleeing the parade route in downtown Highland Park, Illinois.

Prosecutors have said the 21-year-old suspect admitted to the shooting when police arrested him following an hours long search on July 4.

Aftermath of Highland Park parade shooting
People lay flowers and cards near a spot where a mass shooting took place during the 4th of July parade in Highland Park, Illinois, on July 10, 2022. Jacek Boczarski/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Under Illinois law, prosecutors can ask a grand jury to determine whether there is probable cause to proceed to trial. Grand jury proceedings aren't open to the public and defense attorneys cannot cross-examine witnesses.

The multiple first-degree murder charges allege the suspect intended to kill, caused death or great bodily harm and took action with a strong probability of causing death or great bodily harm on the seven people who died.

Prosecutors said Wednesday that the 48 attempted murder counts and 48 counts of aggravated battery with a firearm represent "each victim who was struck by a bullet, bullet fragment, or shrapnel."

"I want to thank law enforcement and the prosecutors who presented evidence to the grand jury today," Lake County State's Attorney Eric Rinehart said in a statement. "Our investigation continues, and our victim specialists are working around the clock to support all those affected by this crime that led to 117 felony counts being filed."

Authorities have said the wounded range in age from 8 to their 80s, including an 8-year-old boy who was paralyzed from the waist down when the shooting severed his spine.

In her first public comments since the shooting, the boy's mother said in a video and written statement released Wednesday that the violence her family and others experienced has taught them "to see the unbelievably generous, caring, good and kind spirit that makes up the vast majority of our world."

Keely Roberts described her son, Cooper Roberts, as "athletic" and "fun-loving" but said he has a long road ahead. Cooper was shot in the back. The bullet tore through his body, severely damaging his aorta, liver, esophagus and spinal cord before exiting through his chest.

Cooper has undergone multiple surgeries and is paralyzed from the waist down.

Cooper's twin brother, Luke, sustained minor injuries from shrapnel, but his mom worries about the impact of seeing his twin so violently injured. She also was wounded in the leg.

Highland Park mayor provides update on deadly Fourth of July shooting 05:55

Roberts said she still sees a bright future ahead for Cooper and thanked paradegoers who helped the family in the aftermath of the shooting, along with health care providers and other first responders.

"He's gonna teach a whole lot of people that the lesson in this is not that one person did this horrible thing," she said. "The lesson in this is that thousands of people did great things, kind things, and continue to do kind things."

During a court hearing presenting the murder charges, Lake County prosecutors said police found more than 80 spent shell casings on the rooftop of a building along the parade route and the semi-automatic rifle used in the attack on the ground nearby.

Investigators believe the accused gunman blended in with the fleeing crowd to get away from the scene, then borrowed his mother's car and briefly contemplated a second attack on a celebration in Madison, Wisconsin, before returning to Illinois where police arrested him.

Lake County Major Crime Task Force spokesman Chris Covelli told reporters earlier this month that the suspect bought the high-powered rifle used in the attack legally in Illinois and that he "pre-planned this attack for several weeks."

Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering told "CBS Mornings" earlier this month that she knew the suspect when he was a boy.

"I was his Cub Scout pack leader," she said. "… My heart breaks for everybody in this town. I'm not sure what happened to him to compel him to commit this kind of evil in his hometown, but we have a city that is in deep mourning today, and we are going to take a long time to heal from all of this."

The suspect is due to appear in court Aug. 3.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.