Even as a seventh victim died from Monday’s shocking July 4 shooting at a holiday parade in downtown Highland Park, Illinois, a disturbing picture of the suspect is emerging.
Police said Tuesday that the shooter fired over 70 rounds from an AR-15-style rifle after climbing a ladder to a nearby rooftop. Investigators now believe he eluded capture by dressing as a woman and mixing with the fleeing crowd.
The gun was legally purchased within the past year.
Robert “Bobby” E. Crimo III, the 21-year-old taken into custody hours after the attack on the Chicago suburb’s Independence Day parade, left a violent trail on social media. He performed as “Awake the Rapper” and posted several music videos depicting mass murder.
One online bio described him as a “hip hop phenom” whose most popular track “amassed millions of plays” across multiple platforms. His YouTube page, which has since been deleted, recently depicted several violent images.
One showed a person with a long gun facedown in a pool of blood, apparently shot by police pictured in the scene. Another image is of a newspaper clipping about President John F. Kennedy’s assassin Lee Harvey Oswald.
Another video he reportedly posted displayed a beheading on a message board dedicated to death.
On a music video titled “Are You Awake,” the song appears to suggest he is headed towards a life-changing event that he cannot stop. There is a drawing of a person aiming a gun at another individual.
Family members describe Crimo, whose face features multiple tattoos, as a quiet young man who showed no signs of possible violent intentions. His father owns a popular deli in Highland Park and ran to be the city’s mayor in 2019.
Political leanings appear mixed on his social media platforms as he is pictured at a Trump rally dressed as Waldo but also liked a Twitter video of President Biden.
Detectives say he spent several weeks planning the mass shooting. Local hospitals report treating 39 people after the attack, and one 69-year-old patient was in critical condition Tuesday. Chicago reported eight other deaths and 60 people wounded by gunfire over the holiday weekend.