The suspect in the shooting deaths of six people at a July 4th parade in the affluent Highland Park suburb of Chicago has been identified as 22-year-old Robert ‘Bobby’ Crimo III also known as Awake the Rapper.
The shooter – who has been arrested- is said to have opened fire from the roof of what was an outdoor outfitting store, picking off people in the crowd who at first confused the sound of gunshots with Independence Day fireworks.
Crimo is from of the Highland Park area. In one song, the suspect wrote: ‘My actions will be valiant and my thought is unnecessary, I know what I have to do, I know what’s in it, not only for me, but for everyone else.’
He is believed to be driving a 2010 silver Honda Fit with Illinois plates reading dm80653.
The suspect is a rapper who goes by the moniker Awake.
He is described as being between 18 and 20 years old, white, of ‘slight build’ with long black hair. He is wearing a white or a blue t-shirt and used what sounded like a semiautomatic rifle in the attack that he abandoned before fleeing.
Police said earlier that they were trying to trace the weapon they found back to its owner in the hopes it will lead them to him.
According to the FBI, Crimo’s has tattoos showing four tally marks with a line through them on his right cheek, red roses and green leaves on his neck and cursive script above his left eyebrow that reads: ‘Awake.’
The feds say that the suspect has ties in the communities of Rockford, DeKalb and Elgin in Illinois.
The suspect has been named as 22-year-old Robert ‘Bobby’ Crimo III. He is from of the Highland Park area
Police said earlier that they were trying to trace the weapon they found back to its owner in the hopes it will lead them to him
An IMDb page about the suspect describes him as a ‘rapper, singer, songwriter, actor and director from Chicago.’
The most viewed video on the rapper’s YouTube channel is the music video for his song: ‘On My Mind.’ The video, showing a the suspect in a classroom.
Crimo operated two channels both of which have been deleted for ‘violating YouTube’s Community Guidelines.’
The track begins as a slow ballad, including the lines: ‘You’re always on my mind. Cutie with the fat ass, I wanna make you mine. I’m running out of time. Shorty we can skip class, smoke and chill online.’
The song has a sudden change in tempo and shows Crimo reaching into a backpack. The screen goes black and when the music returns it’s dubbed with maniacal laughter and, fast paced piano music and a heavy drum beat.
The video then shows the classroom ransacked with the suspect smiling.
Crimo is clad in a combat helmet as he falls to the floor clutching his face and dropping bullets to the floor.
His IMDb page describes him as being the middle child of three who grew up in an Italian-American family in Highland Park, Illinois.
Crimo pictured in the music video for his track ‘On My Mind.’ The song begins a love ballad but takes a dark toward the end as maniacal laughter plays over the beat
Crimo’s music career began when he was 11 when Crimo began uploading music online. According to his Spotify page, he has released three albums
‘On My Mind’ was released in 2021 and was the most viewed video on Crimo’s now-deleted YouTube page
This year he released an EP titled: ‘Brainwashed.’ The tracks included: ‘Dead Again’ and ‘I Am the Storm’
The bio goes on to say that his music career began when he was 11 when Crimo began uploading music online.
His music is in the genre of LoFi rap, according to his Spotify page. He has released three albums, the first in 2017 titled ‘Messages,’ that was followed with 2018’s ‘Observer’ and 2021’s self-titled ‘Awake the Rapper.’
This year he released an EP titled: ‘Brainwashed.’ The tracks included: ‘Dead Again’ and ‘I Am the Storm.’
Crimo has an average of 16,46 listens per month on Spotify.
In his most recent tweet from October 2021 on his artist Twitter page, the suspect tweeted: ‘I am not a robot.’
Crimo appears to have longstanding ties to the Highland Park-area with his father, Bob Crimo, running for mayor of the town in 2019. It does not appear that his campaign was backed by a political party. His slogan was a: ‘A Person for the People.’
Bob Crimo is the owner of Bob’s Pantry and Deli in Highland Park. In a 2018 feature with the Chicago Tribune, Bob Crimo was pictured with his wife, Denise. He describes his restaurant as a ‘family-run and family-orientated store.’
A Honda Fit similar to the one that Crimo is believed to have been driving
The parade had only begun 14 minutes before the gunman opened fire from a rooftop along the route. The shooting caused a stampede of people who flocked into stores and cars. The parade was scheduled to last for an hour
The gunman’s attack began less than 15 minutes after the start of the parade. Witnesses have now told how they saw children being picked off in the crowd.
Six people are dead including five adults who were killed at the parade. The sixth victim died in the hospital. Their age is not yet known.
Nicholas Toledo, a grandfather, was among those killed. His family confirmed his death to CBS.
Chilling videos obtained by DailyMail.com replay how the gunman first unleashed one long hail of bullets before stopping – presumably to reload – and then resuming fire.
Brigham Temple, the medical director of emergency preparedness for Northshore university health system, said they received 20 patients aged between eight and 85 – 10 of them by ambulance.
Four of five patients were children, he said. One of the children who arrived at Northshore was too critically ill to be transported initially. He was stabilized and airlifted to a children’s hospital in Chicago.
Temple said some of the patients were in critical condition.
Of the 25 who arrived at the hospital with gunshot wounds, 19 were treated and discharged home.
One had to be transferred to Evanston hospital. Two patients are still being treated at Northshore.
‘It is a little surreal to take care of an event such as this,’ he said.
‘But all of us have undergone extensive training.’
He said there was a team of therapists and counsellors standing by. His hospital was one of three taking in patients from the parade shooting.
A statement from the Township High School District 113 said that all members of the Highland Park High School marching band and members of the school’s football team are safe and accounted for.
As of Monday afternoon:
- Police continue to hunt the gunman, who is described as a white male, aged 18-20, with long black hair and a slight build
- ATF agents are trying to trace his high powered weapon to a name in order to track him down
- It was revealed the shooter climbed onto the roof of a business with a ladder from an alley
- Authorities in Highland Park tried to track down the families of the five adults killed
- Survivors told how they threw their kids in dumpsters to shield them from the spray of bullets
- President Biden called for greater gun reform in light of the shooting and Democrats called it ironic that it happened in Independence Day, claiming no one in America is free of gun violence
Nicholas Toledo, a grandfather, was among those killed. His family confirmed his death to CBS. Police say five adults were killed at the scene of the parade. A sixth victim died in hospital. They have not yet been identified
Horror on Independence Day: A police officer bows his head in grief next to abandoned strollers and chairs after a shooting that killed six people in Highland Park, Illinois
The bloody scene in Highland Park, Illinois, on Monday after a shooter opened fire on a Fourth of July parade shortly after 10am
Strollers and chairs were abandoned at the scene after the shots rang out at 10.14am, just ten minutes after the parade began
The scene at Highland Park on Monday after the July 4th Parade emptied out amid reports of gunshots. Police have not yet confirmed that anyone was shot
The aftermath of the scene in Highland Park on Monday after a shooter opened fire on the parade. Chairs and strollers were abandoned by attendees
The Governor of Illinois was among the first to call for an end to gun violence while other Democrats – who have been relentlessly demanding gun reform since the Uvalde school shooting on May 24 – invoked irony to make renew their calls for change.
‘The fact that no place in the USA is safe from gun terror means no place is truly free. Heartbroken for Highland Park,’ Katherine Clark, Assistant Speaker of the U.S. House, tweeted.
Witnesses described seeing children being shot at the parade. All of the confirmed deaths so far are those of adults.
‘All of a sudden everyone behind us started running. I looked back, probably 20 feet away from me, I saw a girl shot and killed. I saw her die. I’ve never seen anything like this,’ a woman, who gave her name only as Zoe, told CNN.
Police say they recovered a ‘rifle’ at the scene but witnesses described multiple rounds being fired in quick succession which they say could only have come from a semi-automatic.
‘A rifle? No, no. It was an automatic weapon. It was pop, pop, pop – rifles don’t do that,’ she said.
President Biden – who has been calling for gun reform since the Uvalde shooting on May 24 which claimed 19 lives – issued a statement on Monday afternoon.
He said he had given his support to the Governor of Illinois and the Highland Park Mayor, and he celebrated his recent passing of a gun control bill.
Police officers cross under police tape at the scene of a mass shooting at the Highland Park Fourth of July parade
Law enforcement officers investigate the scene of a mass shooting at a 4th of July celebration and parade in Highland Park, Illinois, USA, 04 July 2022. A gunman opened fire as people gathered to watch a Fourth of July parade in Highland Park, Illinois, killing at least six people and injuring dozens
‘I recently signed the first major bipartisan gun reform legislation in almost thirty years into law, which includes actions that will save lives.
‘But there is so much more work to do, and I’m not going to give up fighting the epidemic of gun violence,’ he said.
Governor JB Pritzker said in a statement: ‘There are no words for the kind of monster who lies in wait and fires into a crowd of families with children celebrating a holiday with their community.
‘There are no words for the kind of evil that robs our neighbors of their hopes, their dreams, their futures.
Highland Park is around 30 miles north of the city of Chicago and is a quiet, suburban area
‘There are no words I can offer to lift the pain of those they live behind. I will stand firm with Illinoisans and Americans: we must – and we will – end this plague of gun violence.’
Zoe, the woman who witnessed a little girl being shot in the head, said the event was for children and dogs who had just passed by when the gunman opened fire.
‘One man had been shot in the head, his ear, he was bleeding all over, and he was, like, I’m just happy that’s all happened. There was another girl that got escorted out that was shot in the leg. We were hiding in the basement for quite a while.
‘I mean, someone, 20 feet away, you know, someone — and then we went back to get our cars and we saw the streets were quite littered.
‘It looked like a battle zone and it’s disgusting.
‘It was — you know, everyone obviously remembers the Boston marathon massacre, like a happy marathon, and it’s just a happy day. It’s the Fourth of July.
‘It was the kid’s parade and dog parade. Little kids on bicycles and pets.
‘That’s who had just walked by,’ she said.
Witnesses described a ‘sickening’ scene and is it feared that children are among the dead.
‘I saw multiple lifeless bodies, people in a pool of blood. One father, who survived with his kids, tossed his son in a dumpster.
Miles Zaremsky, a 74-year-old lawyer who has lived in Highland Park since for 60 years, told DailyMail.com: ‘I witnessed the carnage. It was nice outside weather-wise, so I took a walk twenty minutes from my house.
Children taking part in the parade in Highland Park ran for their lives when they heard shots ring out
Panicked parade goers at the scene on Monday. There were loud sounds from the crowd that some said were gunshots
The parade on Monday in Highland Park was attended by dozens of locals who sat on the sidewalk cheering as bands marched past
Law enforcement search in downtown Highland Park, a Chicago suburb, after a mass shooting at the Highland Park Fourth of July parade, Monday, July 4, 2022
Law enforcement search in downtown Highland Park, a Chicago suburb, after a mass shooting at the Highland Park Fourth of July parade, Monday, July 4, 2022
A gunman opened fire as people gathered to watch a Fourth of July parade in Highland Park, Illinois, killing at least six people and injuring dozens
Law enforcement officers look over a park near the scene of a mass shooting at a 4th of July celebration and parade in Highland Park, Illinois
Chairs remain abandoned at the scene of a mass shooting at a 4th of July celebration and parade in Highland Park, Illinois
Law enforcement officers help evacuate people from an Anthropologie store in Highland Park, Ill., on Monday, July 4, 2022, after a shooter fired on the northern suburb’s Fourth of July parade
A toddler who was separated from his parents at the parade is now in the care of strangers at the local hospital. He is unharmed and seems to be in good spirits. A local chef picked him up as people ran for their lives. He took him to the hospital where his grandparents collected him later
‘I heard multiple shots and I thought it was firecracker… but I heard multiple shots, 30-35 pops if I had to guess.
‘The crowd started stampeding. I had ever seen that before. I saw blood on people’s bodies.
‘Two or three people looked deceased to me[around 25 to 40 years of age]. It was absolutely disgusting and gut-wrenching and I was sick to my stomach.
It was sickening. If this can happen here it can happen anywhere…I saw 12 to 24 injuries… I saw a couple of lifeless bodies on the ground.’
‘I did see a little boy [covered in blood] in his parents’ arms who looked [pale]. They were yelling for medics.
‘It’s surreal, it’s like out of a science fiction but it is real.
‘My wife and I have been living in Highland Park since 1966. It is a beautiful, charming, peaceful, law-abiding community.
‘If it can happen here, it can happen in any community in the United States.’
Highland Park is an affluent, suburban city with a population of 30,000. Its residents are largely families and there is a significant Jewish population in the area, but there is no suggestion the attack was anti-Semitic.
Among those who were participating in the parade was a Hasidic Jewish band. One jarring video showed them slowly making their way down the parade route on a float while those ahead of them – suddenly aware of the danger – ran in the opposite direction.
Nineteen-year-old real estate student Rainan Eli, 19, saw the shooting unfold from the window of his apartment on Central Avenue and Second Street.
‘I was just sitting studying for some class I’m taking and watching the parade. I saw lots of people running and at first, everybody assumed it was fireworks being the Fourth,’ he told DailyMail.com.
Eli pulled out his cellphone and recorded heart-wrenching video of people running and seeking shelter as shots being fired could be heard in the background.
He said that two other residents of his apartment building came downstairs with him and gave the 15 to 20 people in the vestibule drinks.
Debbie Glickman, a Highland Park resident, said she was on a parade float with coworkers and the group was prepared to turn onto the main route when she saw people running away from the area
First responders work the scene of a shooting at a Fourth of July parade on July 4, 2022 in Highland Park, Illinois. Reports indicate at least six people were killed and more than 20 injured in the mass shooting
Law enforcement search after a mass shooting at the Highland Park Fourth of July parade in downtown Highland Park, a Chicago suburb on Monday, July 4, 2022
Law enforcement search as they walk into a building after a mass shooting at the Highland Park Fourth of July parade in downtown Highland Park, a Chicago suburb on Monday, July 4, 2022
First responders work the scene of a shooting at a Fourth of July parade on July 4, 2022 in Highland Park, Illinois. Reports indicate at least five people were killed and 19 injured in the mass shooting
President Biden – who has been calling for gun reform since the Uvalde shooting on May 24 which claimed 19 lives – issued a statement on Monday afternoon. He said he had given his support to the Governor of Illinois and the Highland Park Mayor, and he celebrated his recent passing of a gun control bill
Debbie Glickman, a Highland Park resident, said she was on a parade float with coworkers and the group was prepared to turn onto the main route when she saw people running away from the area.
‘People started saying `There’s a shooter, there’s a shooter, there is a shooter” Glickman said.
‘So we just ran. We just ran. It’s like mass chaos down there. I’m so freaked out,’ she said.
‘We can’t believe this happened in our little town.’
Matt Phillip, 36, director of tasting room operating at Lynfred Winery, told DailyMail.com: ‘We were open early for the parade and upon hearing what sounded like fireworks, we noticed that people started running down the street.’
‘We opened our doors so they could either seek shelter within our facility or exit through our back-alley door.’
Highland Park is renowned for being one of Chicago’s most affluent suburbs; Michael Jordan owns a mansion in the area, and it is also where enormous mansion featured in Home Alone is situated.
It is among a cluster of wealthy suburbs along the North Shore next to Lake Michigan.
The town’s mayor, Nancy Rotering, spoke briefly at a press conference along with law enforcement on Monday to share her condolences with the families of those killed.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot tweeted: ‘The tragedy unfolding in Highland Park is devastating.
‘I have been in contact with Mayor Rotering and have offered our support, and the Chicago Police Department is providing assistance.
‘We grieve with the families of the deceased and injured as well as the entire Highland Park community.
‘Law enforcement is working hard to bring the shooter into custody.
‘If anyone has information, we encourage them to call 911 and report what you know.’
Unlike Chicago, which has one of the worst gun violence records in the country, violent crime in Highland Park is almost unheard of.
The average price of a home in Highland Park was $714,000 in April 2022 and the city has a population of around 30,000.