CHICAGO, ILLINOIS: A rapper, 22, has been arrested on suspicion of shooting six people dead at a July 4 parade in a Chicago suburb. Cops intercepted Robert ‘Bobby’ Crimo III in North Lake Forest, Chicago, after 7 pm local time Monday, July 4, after spotting the silver Honda Fit he was last seen driving. Photographs that later surfaced shows the killer being pinned to the ground face-down by police.

At least six people were killed on Monday, July 4, after Crimo, armed with a powerful rifle, opened fire from a rooftop at a Fourth of July parade in the Chicago suburb of Highland Park. Highland Park Police chief Lou Jogmen had earlier described Crimo as “very dangerous”. Panicked onlookers ran for their lives as the gunman opened fire from a nearby rooftop. The shooting began at around 10:14 am, police said.

Police Commander Chris O’Neill said the gunman had a “high-powered rifle” that he used to fire from the top of a commercial building. A rifle was recovered at the scene, as was a ladder attached to the building. Five of the six victims, all adults, died on the scene, while the sixth was rushed to a hospital where he succumbed to his injuries. A total of 26 victims aged between eight and 85 were injured.

Who is Robert Crimo?

A rapper from Highland Park, Crimo posted rap videos online using the name Awake. In one of the songs, 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.” The words set to drawings of a figure who looked like Crimo, pointing a gun. A newspaper clipping about JFK’s murderer Lee Harvey Oswald is visible at one point. Crimo’s father, Bob Crimo, ran for mayor of the town in 2019, but it does not appear as though he was backed by any political party.

According to Crimo’s IMDB page, “Bobby Crimo (Born September 20, 2000), known professionally as Awake The Rapper, is an American rapper, singer, songwriter, actor and director from Chicago, IL. The hip-hop phenom is mostly known for his hit song ‘On My Mind’ which was released on October 8, 2018. The track has amassed millions of plays so far across online streaming platforms.”

“Bobby began uploading his music to the internet when he was 11. The world first started turning their heads with the release of his 2016 track By The Pond featuring Atlas. Directly Following that Awake released his fan-favorite mixtape ‘messages’ on December 23, 2017. The Lo-fi sad boy then went on to release a second mixtape entitled ‘observer’ on August 10, 2018 and an Ep. called ‘The Future Is Dope’ on his 18th birthday. Fast Forward a couple months and Awake releases his hit song ‘On My Mind’,” the page adds.

What is Robert Crimo’s manifesto?

Clues of Crimo’s horrific plan were uploaded to his YouTube page ZeroTwo in a vlog-style manifesto. Disturbing videos uploaded to his channel showed what looks like an illustration of a mass shooting and another that shows the street where the massacre took place. One of the videos even showed an illustration of cops shooting him.

The Highland Park shooting came amid an ongoing discussion about ways to curb gun violence in the wake of the Uvalde school shooting. A deadly massacre unfolded at Robb Elementary school in Uvalde on May 24 when 18-year-old Salvador Ramos barricaded himself inside a classroom and slaughtered 19 students and two teachers. Police faced sharp criticism for allegedly failing to stop the shooting quickly enough and come to the victims’ rescue on time. Ramos was shot dead by an off-duty Customs and Border Protection agent from an elite tactical unit.

In another incident in May, a racially motivated teen, Payton Gendron, gunned down ten people and injured three others at a Buffalo supermarket. The 18-year-old drove from ‘hours away’ in Conklin, New York, to the Tops market on Jefferson Avenue. The shooting took place in a predominantly Black neighborhood. Eleven of the victims were Black and two of them were White. Gendron has pleaded not guilty.

 

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