Highland Park suspect dressed in women’s clothes, planned attack for weeks: Police


The suspect in the shooting rampage in Highland Park, Illinois, dressed in women’s clothes to disguise his identity and is believed to have planned the attack for several weeks, according to police.

Robert “Bobby” E. Crimo III, 21, was taken into custody Monday and is suspected to have unleashed over 70 rounds into the crowd during a shooting spree that killed at least six and injured dozens more, police said. He is believed to have used his disguise to escape the scene of the crime.


“We do believe Crimo pre-planned this attack for several weeks. He brought a high-powered rifle to this parade. He accessed the roof of a business via a fire escape ladder and began opening fire on the innocent Independence Day celebration goers,” Lake County Major Crime Task Force spokesman Christopher Covelli said during a press conference Tuesday.

Investigators believe Crimo donned women’s clothing in a bid to “conceal his facial tattoos and his identity and help them during the escape with the other people who are fleeing the chaos,” Covelli explained. Crimo is believed to have scaled a building via a fire escape to perch himself on a rooftop so that he could unleash fire upon the crowd celebrating Independence Day.

Crimo is thought to have acted alone, and officials have not yet determined a motive, Covelli said. Charges are expected to be announced later Tuesday.

When the shooting rampage was complete, Crimo dropped his gun and blended in with the panicked crowd to make his escape, walking over to his mother’s house and then commandeering her vehicle, Covelli said.

After law enforcement identified him as a person of interest in the shooting, a local spotted the vehicle, leading authorities to him. Police apprehended him after a brief chase.

Crimo is believed to have purchased multiple guns legally, including one that was dropped near the scene of the crime and one found in a vehicle, Covelli explained. The weapon used in the rampage was an AR-15-style weapon, Covelli said. Officials previously described the weapon as a “high-powered rifle” but did not divulge the type of gun.

During the press conference, Covelli clarified that Crimo was 21 years old and turning 22 in September. Initial reporting suggested he was 22 years old. Crimo is a resident of Highwood, Illinois, which is located close to where the parade took place, Covelli added. He also cautioned that information on Crimo is preliminary.

“Some of this is still preliminary, so it’s subject to change as we keep moving forward,” he emphasized.


Video from Crimo reviewed by the Washington Examiner appeared to show him driving down a street that was part of the parade route in 2021. The parade appears to have been canceled in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Covelli noted that law enforcement had not been aware of the video prior to Monday’s mass shooting.