A man accused of opening fire on a Fourth of July parade near Chicago has been charged with seven counts of murder, officials say.
Robert Crimo, 21, would be punished “for the killing spree he has unleashed against our community”, Lake County State Attorney Eric Rinehart said.
Mr Rinehart added that dozens more charges would be filed before the investigation was over.
“These are just the first of many charges that will be filed against Mr Crimo,” he said to cheers and applause from the crowd gathered for the news conference on Tuesday. “I want to emphasize that. There will be more charges.”
After an eight-hour manh unt on Monday, police arrested Mr Crimo and he was discovered with a second rifle similar to the one used in the attack.
Three other firearms were also found at his home. Police said the suspect had two prior contacts with law enforcement but was still able to purchase five guns in the past year.
Illinois state police said that Mr Crimo’s father sponsored his application for a firearm licence in December 2019, when he was just 19. But his uncle denied this in a statement to the Chicago Sun.
In April 2019, police were called to his home one week after he reportedly attempted to take his own life. And in September 2019, police were called by a family member who said he had made violent threats to “kill everyone”.
Police responded and seized 16 knives, a dagger, and a sword from his home. He was not arrested and no further action was taken.
Officials on Tuesday called for an education campaign to raise awareness of the state’s red flag laws, which allow a judge to order that a person deemed dangerous have their weapons seized and be barred from buying more guns.
The suspect is expected to appear in court on Wednesday.