Updated Aug 3, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Highland Park shooting suspect pleads not guilty to 117 charges

Memorials are placed near the scene of a shooting at a Fourth of July parade,
Memorials are placed near the scene of a shooting at a Fourth of July parade in Highland Park, Ill. Photo: Jim Vondruska/Getty Images

The man accused of opening fire on a Fourth of July parade in Highland Park, Illinois, pleaded not guilty on Wednesday to 117 criminal charges connected to the attack that killed seven people and injured 48 others, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

Driving the news: A grand jury indicted Robert Crimo III on the charges last month. They include 21 first-degree murder counts, 48 counts of attempted murder and 48 counts of aggravated battery.

State of play: During the court hearing Wednesday in Lake County, Illinois, the judge asked Crimo several questions about whether he understood the case against him, to which Crimo replied "yes," the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

  • The not guilty plea was entered by Crimo's lawyer.

The big picture: Police believe Crimo had planned the attack for several weeks in advance and brought to the parade a rifle "similar to an AR-15" that he had legally purchased.

  • He got onto the roof of a building via a fire escape ladder, then fired more than 70 rounds into the crowd below.
  • During the attack, he was dressed in women's clothing, which investigators believe he did to conceal his identity and facial tattoos. After the attack, he dropped his weapon and escaped by blending into the fleeing crowd, before heading to his mother's house and taking her car.
  • When police arrested him, they discovered a second rifle inside the vehicle and later found other firearms at his residence in Highwood, Illinois.

Go deeper: Remembering the victims of the Highland Park July 4 shooting

Editor's note: This story has been updated with additional details.

Go deeper