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Highland Park parade attack suspect indicted on 21 counts of murder

Robert E. Crimo hit with 117 felony charges for mass shooting in heavily Jewish area that killed 7

This photo provided by the Lake County Major Crime Task Force shows Robert Crimo, III. Crimo III has been charged with seven counts of First Degree Murder in the Fourth of July parade shooting in Highland Park, Illinois, July 6, 2022. (Lake County Major Crime Task Force via AP)
This photo provided by the Lake County Major Crime Task Force shows Robert Crimo, III. Crimo III has been charged with seven counts of First Degree Murder in the Fourth of July parade shooting in Highland Park, Illinois, July 6, 2022. (Lake County Major Crime Task Force via AP)

CHICAGO — 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 Crimo have not made a formal response yet to any of the charges he faces in the July 4 shooting that killed seven people, wounded more than 30, and sent spectators fleeing the parade route in downtown Highland Park, Illinois.

Prosecutors have said Crimo, 21, admitted to the shooting when police arrested him following an hourslong search on July 4.

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.

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.

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.

A 2020 study by Brandeis University and the University of Chicago found Highland Park had among the Chicago region’s highest concentrations of Jewish residents — a fact reflected by the half-dozen or more synagogues in the suburb or just outside it. Several of Crimo’s victims were Jewish.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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