NOTE: This story contains disturbing images and content. Please read at your own discretion.

Robert E. Crimo III, the person of interest in a mass shooting at a 4th of July parade in Highland Park, Illinois, was an aspiring rapper whose videos and social media posts featured violent and sinister images that often glorified the mass shootings and murders.

Crimo, 21, was taken into custody Monday after an hour-long chase when he was pulled over by police after a brief car chase. Police have not said what specific information led them to Crimo, but Chris Covelli, a spokesman for the Lake County Major Crimes Task Force, told reporters Tuesday that police believe “Crimo planned this attack in advance during several weeks”.

Covelli also told reporters that Crimo dressed in women’s clothing to distract from his facial tattoos.

“During the attack, Crimo was wearing women’s clothing and investigators believe he did so to hide his facial tattoos and identity and help him during his escape,” Covelli said of the 21-year-old in custody.

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‘No information’ to suggest 4th of July parade shooting was motivated by race or religion: police


‘No information’ to suggest 4th of July parade shooting was motivated by race or religion: police

Police said the shooter’s attack came from a roof over the parade route, shooting into a crowd that had gathered to watch the Independence Day parade. Police believe the shooter used a ladder in an alley to climb onto the roof.

“After the attack, Crimo came off the roof, dropped his rifle and blended into the crowd and escaped,” Covelli said.

“He blended in with everyone else as they ran almost like he was an innocent bystander too.”

From there, Covelli said, Crimo allegedly walked to his mother’s house, borrowed her car and tried to drive out of town.

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Neighbors told CBS News that Crimo lives in a house with his father and uncle. As of this writing, he has yet to be charged in the shooting that left six dead and dozens more injured.

Crimo, who goes by Bobby, was a rapper with the stage name Awake the Rapper, who posted dozens of videos and songs on social media, some using dark and threatening language.

In an animated video that YouTube has since removed, Crimo raps about armies “walking in the dark” as a drawing appears of a man pointing a rifle, a body on the ground, and another figure with hands up in the distance. . A later frame shows a close-up of a hood with blood pouring out and another of police cars arriving as the shooter raises his hands.

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In another video, in which Crimo appears in a classroom wearing a black bicycle helmet, he says that he is “like a sleepwalker, I know what I have to do”, then adds: “Everything has led to this. Nothing can stop me, not even myself.”

Empty chairs sit along the sidewalk after parade goers fled the Highland Park 4th of July parade after shots were fired, Monday, July 4, 2022, in Chicago.

Lynn Sweet/Chicago Sun-Times via AP

According to NBC News, the YouTube account hosting his videos, which had previously been accessible to the public, was not available from monday night.

After Monday’s shooting, 26 patients were sent to Highland Park Hospital with gunshot wounds, according to Dr. Bringham Temple, medical director of emergency preparedness at NorthShore University Health Center.

Their ages range from eight to 85, he said, and include four or five children. Some are in critical condition, including one child, and 19 have been treated and released.

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Among the dead, five were adults who died at the scene, while another person of unknown age was taken to the hospital and died there, according to Lake County Coroner Jennifer Banek. Authorities are in the process of notifying their families.

Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering told CNN she believes the assault rifle used by the suspected shooter was bought legally. She said her office is waiting for authorities to file charges against “the individual.” Covelli also spoke Tuesday and said based on the information they have so far, it appears the rifle was legally purchased in Illinois.

In an interview with This dayRotering said it appeared that several of the suspect’s online posts “reflected a plan and desire to commit a carnage a long time before.”

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“And it’s one of those things where you take a step back and say, what happened? How did someone become so angry and hateful? she said.

“And then take it out on innocent people who were literally just having a family day out?”

NBC News reports that Crimo was active on Discord, an online app that allows users to send and share messages, media and files. According to the outlet, Crimo featured his own channel on the app, which featured a policy board filled with “nihilistic political memes.”

A Lake Forest, Ill., police officer walks down Central Avenue in Highland Park, Ill., on Monday, July 4, 2022, after a shooter fired on the 4th of July parade in the northern suburb.

Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune via The Canadian Press

NBC News also reports that the suspect frequently posted on a server that shared graphic depictions of death, suicide and murder. Last week, in his last post before the shooting, shared a video of a beheading.

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‘This is gun country’: Philly mayor exasperated after shooting near 4th of July celebration


‘This is gun country’: Philly mayor exasperated after shooting near 4th of July celebration

rotering said This day that he did not believe that Crimo had been linked to prior crimes or known to the police before the shooting.

“Whether it’s Buffalo, New York, Uvalde, Texas or Highland Park, Illinois, this is incredible to me, it’s an acceptable part of who we are as a nation,” said Rotering, referring to a recent spate of mass shootings. In the USA

Police search as they enter a building after a mass shooting at the Highland Park 4th of July parade in downtown Highland Park, Ill., a suburb of Chicago, Monday, July 4, 2022.

Nam Y. Huh / The Associated Press

The suspect’s uncle, Paul Crimo, told CNN that he didn’t think his nephew had a job and that he was last employed at Panera Bread before the pandemic. He described his nephew as a “lonely and quiet person” that “keeps it all to himself”.

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Police have not suggested a potential motive for the attack.

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In a statement on the shooting, US President Joe Biden said: “Jill and I are shocked by the senseless gun violence that has once again caused the American community pain this Independence Day. As always, we are grateful for the first responders and law enforcement on the scene.

“I will not stop fighting the epidemic of gun violence.”

With files from Eric Stober and Sean Boynton of Global News

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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