July 4 Highland Park shooter to be arraigned

The July 4 Highland Park shooter is to be arraigned on Wednesday on 117 counts connected to the attack. That is including the 21 charges of first-degree murder.

 Community members gather at a memorial site near the parade route the day after a mass shooting at a Fourth of July parade in the Chicago suburb of Highland Park, Illinois, US July 5, 2022 (photo credit: CHENEY ORR/REUTERS)
Community members gather at a memorial site near the parade route the day after a mass shooting at a Fourth of July parade in the Chicago suburb of Highland Park, Illinois, US July 5, 2022
(photo credit: CHENEY ORR/REUTERS)

An Illinois man accused of opening fire on spectators watching an Independence Day parade in a Chicago suburb last month was scheduled to be arraigned on Wednesday on 117 counts connected to the attack, including 21 charges of first-degree murder.

The suspect, Robert Crimo, 21, was set to appear in a Lake County Circuit Court at 11 a.m. local time when he may enter a plea to the grand jury indictment.

He has been held without bail since he was arrested after the shooting at the July 4th celebration in Highland Park, Illinois, which left seven people dead and more than three dozen injured. If convicted on the murder charges, he would face a mandatory sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Mass shootings across the US

The bloodshed was part of a recent flare-up of mass shootings in the United States, fueling a long-running debate between advocates of tighter controls over gun ownership and those who oppose any restrictions on the constitutional right of Americans to bear arms.

Two of the most prominent of those attacks took place at a school in Uvalde, Texas, where a gunman shot and killed 19 children and two teachers, and at a supermarket in a predominately Black neighborhood of Buffalo, New York, where a shooting rampage left 10 people dead.

 MOURNERS ATTEND a vigil after the mass shooting at a Fourth of July parade in the Chicago suburb of Highland Park. (credit: CHENEY ORR/REUTERS) MOURNERS ATTEND a vigil after the mass shooting at a Fourth of July parade in the Chicago suburb of Highland Park. (credit: CHENEY ORR/REUTERS)

Highland Park attack

The Highland Park suspect had planned the attack for weeks, prosecutors said. On the morning of the parade, he climbed to a rooftop along the parade route and fired more than 70 rounds at spectators lining the street below, according to court documents. He then made his getaway dressed in women's clothing and makeup to cover his facial tattoos.

A Smith & Wesson semiautomatic rifle, similar to an AR-15, was found at the scene, and a similar weapon was in a car driven by the suspect when he was arrested, according to prosecutors.