Chicago

‘Maybe he is just casing the place’: Highland Park synagogue staff remember seeing July 4 mass shooting suspect there in April

CHICAGO (CBS) — As a picture of the Highland Park mass shooting suspect becomes more in focus, there are images of Bobby Crimo III entering a synagogue.

CBS 2′ Charlie de Mar spoke to a security guard who saw the suspect.

The Central Avenue Synagogue is just down the street from where this shooting happened. At the end of April, leaders said he  hehe walked in during Saturday morning services sat down with a backpack, dressed in all black leather and wearing gloves and quickly getting the attention of the security team.

“The thought did cross my mind that maybe he is just casing the place,” said Marty Blumenthal, who works security for the synagogue and said he now thinks that’s why the suspect was there. 

“Now I do, now that I know he has homicidal tendencies for sure.”

Blumenthal does security for the synagogue and said as soon as he saw the suspected shooters picture on TV, he knew it was the same person who was inside the synagogue a couple months before.

Several staff members at the temple started a conversation with him and checked his bag for weapons, which he didn’t have, and after about 45 minutes he got up and left.

Police weren’t called then because he didn’t do anything illegal, but the visit did concern the congregation.

“My concern was that he was going to pull some kind of weapon out,” Blumenthal said,

Staff with the synagogue said they walked him out and he left on a bicycle. Blumenthal said police were called Monday to report the incident that happened at the synagogue.

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