Officials say the suspect in the shooting at the Fourth of July parade in Highland Park, Ill., which left at least seven dead, threatened to “kill everyone” at his house in September 2019, leading police to arrive and confiscate knives he had collected.
Chris Covelli, a spokesman for the Lake County Major Crime Task Force, said at a press conference Tuesday that a family member reported Robert E. Crimo III for the threat, prompting the police visit. They removed the knives he had and notified Illinois state police about the incident.
Covelli said there was no probable cause for officers to make an arrest, and police had no information to believe that Crimo owned any firearms at the time.
He said the incident was Crimo’s second interaction with law enforcement, with the first happening in April 2019 when someone contacted Highland Park police after learning Crimo had threatened to commit suicide the week prior. Police spoke with Crimo and his parents and left the situation in the care of a mental health professional.
Covelli said Crimo owned a total of five firearms, including the rifle he used to carry out the shooting and one that was found in his car when he was arrested. He said the other weapons included pistols and possibly a shotgun seized at Crimo’s father’s home.
Charges against Crimo are expected to be announced soon.
Covelli also raised the total number of people who were killed or wounded from the shooting to about 45.
Lake County Coroner Jennifer Banek announced the names of six people killed in the attack and confirmed that a seventh person has died at a hospital.
Two of the victims were a husband and wife — 37-year-old Kevin McCarthy and 35-year-old Irina McCarthy. Their 2-year-old son Aiden was seen wandering around the area after the shooting separated him from his parents.
Covelli said authorities are “very certain” that a female witness saw Crimo drop the rifle he used inside of a red blanket immediately after the shooting. He said they have not identified the witness yet but want her to come forward.
Police are also requesting anyone with firsthand information about Crimo to share it with law enforcement.
Covelli said police are still investigating a possible motive but confirmed that Crimo has been talking to investigators.