The suspected gunman in the horrific Fourth of July massacre on Monday was allegedly kicked out of a local synagogue months prior to the tragic event.
Though police have yet to establish a possible motive as to why Robert E. “Bobby” Crimo III allegedly opened fire on a crowd of Independence Day parade-goers, the heavy Jewish presence in Highland Park led some to speculate at the time of the attack it may have been antisemitic in nature. According to Rabbi Yosef Schanowitz, Crimo allegedly entered the Chabad synagogue in the Chicago suburb this past April during Passover and was subsequently asked to leave.
“During the last Passover holiday, that person entered the Chabad synagogue,” Schanowitz said of Crimo.
“We have an armed security guard sitting in front. … I approached [Crimo] and sternly asked him to leave, as I noticed he was not a member of our community,” he added.
The rabbi did not say if Crimo had behaved suspiciously prior to him being asked to leave the synagogue, which is located just two blocks away from where the shooting happened on Monday.
Lake County Major Crime Task Force spokesman Christopher Covelli told reporters on Tuesday that police have yet to establish a motive for the massacre, though evidence suggests it was racially or religiously motivated. Covelli said:
We have no indication to suggest at this point that it was racially motivated, motivated by religion or any other protected status. At this point, we have not developed a motive from him. Investigators … have been in discussions with him. I don’t have anything to say about motivation thus far because it hasn’t been provided.
During that same month of April when Crimo was reportedly asked to leave the synagogue, residents were horrified when antisemitic leaflets were left outside various homes on Yom HaShoah — Holocaust Remembrance Day
“Frankly, it’s disgusting, and it needs to stop,” Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering said in response to the leaflets. “To have this kind of garbage, disgusting statements thrown on people’s driveways — on today of all days — is particularly painful.”
As Breitbart News reported, the gunman planned the attack on the parade for weeks and even wore women’s clothing to avoid capture.
As many as six people were killed with another 24 injured during the July 4 attack.