A man accused of opening fire on a Fourth of July parade near Chicago has been charged with seven counts of murder, officials say. The 21-year-old would be punished “for the killing spree he has unleashed against our community”, Lake County State Attorney Eric Rinehart said.
The attack in Highland Park left seven dead and more than 30 others injured.
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,” he said to cheers and applause from the crowd gathered for the news conference on Tuesday. If convicted, the seven murder counts alone would carry a mandatory sentence of life in prison without parole, Mr Rinehart said.
The suspect, Robert Crimo, is accused of firing 70 bullets from a high-powered rifle down on to the crowd and disguising himself as a woman so he could escape alongside fleeing victims. After an eight-hour manhunt on Monday, police arrested the gunman 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.