Less than a week after the deadly Fourth of July mass shooting in Highland Park, Illinois, a community is trying to make sense of the tragedy. Today (July 8), memorial services for the seven victims are scheduled to begin. The accused gunman, Robert “Bobby” Crimo III, once threatened to stab his entire family to death and reportedly posted music videos depicting mass shootings online. He later purchased a rifle. His family says they were completely blindsided by the shooting.
The suspect’s uncle, Paul Crimo, spoke with NBC News about the massacre. “We’re sorry, we’re just sorry. We’re very sorry,” Crimo began. “I couldn’t even believe it, very hard. It’s very hard, it’s very hard, No sleep and my whole life changed,” he added. In an interview with the New York Post on Wednesday (July 6), Crimo III’s father said his son’s death threat against the family was simply a “childish outburst.” The father wondered if the 21-year-old had “a psychiatric break or something.”
Despite that incident, Crimo III’s father helped him buy the rifle used in the July 4 attack. At the time of the purchase, the suspect was under 21 and needed help obtaining a Firearm Owners Identification (FOID) application. Yesterday (July 7), attorney Steve Greenberg shared that he is no longer representing the family. “I remain hopeful that at some point this terrible tragedy will result in meaningful change,” Greenberg said in a statement.
Today, services for three victims, Stephen Straus, 88, Jacki Sundheim, 63, and Nicolas Toledo-Zaragoza, 78, will take place. Tomorrow (July 9), a service for 69-year-old Eduardo Uvaldo is scheduled. Crimo III reportedly planned the shooting for weeks. On Tuesday (July 5), the suspect was charged with seven counts of first-degree murder and is being held without bond, according to Lake County State’s Attorney Eric Rinehart. More charges are expected to be filed within the coming days.