Highland Park parade shooting

Deaths 7
Location Central Ave and 2nd St. in Highland Park, Illinois, U.S.
Injured 46
Date July 4, 2022 10:14 a.m. (CDT (UTC–5))
Criminal penalty Unknown


On July 4, 2022, a mass shooting took place during an Independence Day parade in Highland Park, Illinois, United States. The shooting occurred at 10:14 a.m. CDT (UTC−05:00), roughly 15 minutes after the parade had started. Seven people were fatally shot and at least 46 others were wounded by gunfire and other injuries from the ensuing panic.

Authorities apprehended Robert Eugene Crimo III eight hours after the shooting and charged him the next day with seven counts of first-degree murder. Crimo is a local area rapper who had posted violent content on social media.


Highland Park is an affluent suburb community of about 30,000, located in Lake County, Illinois, United States, 25 miles (40 km) north of Chicago, in the area's North Shore. The city held a Fourth of July celebration, which included a parade that began at 10:00 a.m. CDT (UTC−05:00). The parade started at the intersection of Laurel and St. Johns Avenues, headed north on St. Johns Avenue, then turned west on Central Avenue, and continued to Sunset Park.


The shooting began at 10:14 a.m. in downtown Highland Park, with the shooter firing a rifle from the rooftop of the Ross Cosmetics building, a local store on the northwest corner of Central Avenue and 2nd Street. The gunman had gained access to the elevated position by using an unsecured ladder attached to the building. The parade had not quite reached the intersection when the attack began.[citation needed]

A total of 83 shots were fired. Victims included spectators and some of those marching in the parade. Witnesses initially reported that at least five bloodied people were lying on the ground. At least one parade attendee provided medical treatment to those injured, before first responders arrived.

Highland Park police after the shooting

Footage shot by Chicago Sun-Times reporter Lynn Sweet, a spectator at the parade, shows a participating Klezmer band on a float continuing to play as gunfire began, and many attendees running while screaming. Additional photos of the scene were captured by attendees and posted to social media.

Over 100 law enforcement officers from multiple agencies responded to the shooting. The shooter ceased firing as law enforcement officers approached the building, fleeing the scene and evading immediate capture. A rifle was recovered at the scene. The shooter remained at large for at least eight hours after the incident.

According to the Lake County prosecutor's office, the shooter used a Smith & Wesson M&P15 semiautomatic rifle with three 30-round magazines.


Seven people were killed and 46 others were injured during the attack. Of the deceased victims, five—all adults—died at the scene and two died at the hospital from their injuries. The deceased included a 78-year-old Mexican grandfather who was visiting family in the area, a female former preschool teacher, and a congregant of a local synagogue. Two other victims were a married couple in their 30s who attended the parade with their two-year-old son, who survived, and was found wandering unaccompanied.

Twenty-five of the injured suffered gunshot wounds, while 11 others were injured as the result of the panicked evacuation of the parade route. The ages of the wounded ranged from 8 to 85. Highland Park Hospital reported that they were treating 26 people after the shooting, 25 being gunshot wounds, with five later transferred to Evanston Hospital. Additionally, four of the injured were transported to Glenbrook Hospital, and several others were taken to hospitals outside of the Northshore University Medical System network.


Local Highland Park authorities collaborated in conjunction with the FBI, Illinois State Police, and Chicago Police throughout the investigation. The police believe only one shooter was responsible, and the shooting was described as appearing to be "very random, very intentional".

Robert Eugene Crimo was apprehended at approximately 6:30 p.m., over eight hours after the shooting began. Crimo was taken into custody following a brief pursuit after his damaged 2010 Honda Fit was stopped by North Chicago Police and Lake County Sheriff units at the intersection of U.S Route 41 and Westleigh Road in Lake Forest. Subsequently, Crimo's home in Highwood, a small suburb just north of Highland Park, was raided by FBI agents.

Lake County police stated that Crimo planned the attack for weeks, and dressed in women's clothing and hid his facial tattoos in order to flee the scene after the attack, among panicked parade-goers. Mayor of Highland Park Nancy Rotering said that she believed that the weapon used in the crime was obtained legally. Following the shooting, Crimo drove north to Madison, Wisconsin and left his phone there, allegedly to throw off authorities. Authorities say Crimo thought about attacking another July 4 event, in Madison, but decided against it because he hadn't researched it beforehand. He returned to Illinois afterwards.


Authorities apprehended 21-year-old Robert Eugene Crimo III (born September 20, 2000) eight hours after the shooting and charged him the next day with seven counts of first-degree murder.

Crimo's father was a convenience store and deli owner, and made an unsuccessful run for mayor of Highland Park in 2019. As a child, Crimo was a member of a Cub Scout troop led by Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering. Rotering, who knew Crimo as "just a little boy," said she wondered "...How did somebody become this angry, this hateful to then take it out on innocent people who, literally, were just having a family day out?" Crimo, a former student of Highland Park High School, has performed under the stage name "Awake the Rapper". Recent music videos by him on YouTube depicted mass shootings and characters being shot by police; the account is no longer available. Crimo frequently visited an online message board that discussed graphic depictions of death. He posted a video of a beheading the week before the shooting. Crimo also had his own Discord server, which was invaded by 4chan members after the shooting and has since been shut down.

Law enforcement identified two prior encounters with Crimo: a 911 call in April 2019 reporting that he attempted to commit suicide and a September 2019 incident regarding alleged threats by Crimo to a family member. In April 2019, police seized 16 knives, a dagger, and a sword from Crimo after a family member reported to the police that he planned to "kill everyone". He was not charged with a crime at the time. Three months before the shooting, a Highland Park rabbi stated that Crimo had entered a local Chabad House during the Passover seder and was asked to leave. The Chabad House is located two blocks from where the July 4 shooting occurred.


Crimo was charged on July 5 with seven counts of first-degree murder. The next day, he confessed to the shooting. Lake County Sheriff's Office said that he is being held without bail.


Highland Park fairgrounds after the shooting

Multiple Chicago suburbs canceled their Fourth of July celebrations after the shooting. Six Flags Great America in Gurnee continued operating but canceled its fireworks show. The Chicago White Sox announced they would continue to play their baseball game against the Minnesota Twins but canceled their fireworks show.

School districts in the surrounding neighborhoods said counseling service would be made available at Highland Park High School for "students, staff and community members."

The Ravinia Festival in Highland Park announced the cancellation of all concerts and events through July 10. "This decision was made after careful consideration and in close consultation with many stakeholders, including neighbors, public officials, artists, and patrons. Our shared hope is that the reduced activity-both within the park and in the neighborhoods surrounding Ravinia-will give the community the space and quiet to reflect and heal."


President Joe Biden stated that he was shocked by the "senseless" gun violence and has offered the "full support of the Federal government" to the affected communities. He also called for more gun control measures.

Illinois governor J. B. Pritzker called the perpetrator a "monster" and stated that his office had made available all state resources to the community and was coordinating with local officials. He called for better gun control as well. Illinois U.S. Senator Dick Durbin called the attack "horrific" and "senseless". Gubernatorial candidate Darren Bailey advocated for "prayer and action to address rampant crime and mental health issues," calling the attack a "horrific tragedy". Bailey later apologized after saying, "...so let's pray for justice to prevail, and then let's move on and let's celebrate..." about 90 minutes after the shooting.

Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering stated the community had been shaken to its core. Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot released a statement about the shooting, calling it devastating and that she had been in contact with Mayor Rotering and offered the city's support with the Chicago Police Department providing assistance. She also stated the city grieved with the families of victims and the injured.

Illinois State Senator Julie Morrison and U.S. Representative Brad Schneider were in attendance and expressed their condolences. Morrison expressed a sentiment that she would never want to be in another parade. Schneider stated he and his campaign team were safe and highlighted his commitment to make the community a safer place.