Highland Park shoots the disturbing online world of Robert Crimo

HHis uncle said he “saw no signs of trouble”.

The mayor said she remembered him as “just a little boy” while she knew him as a wolf cub.

Local police said he wasn’t even on their radar.

But a close look at Robert Crimo’s online presence tells a very different story.

On several platforms, the 21-year-old has often posted disturbing and violent videos, including that of a beheading.

The amateur rapper, who goes by “Awake the Rapper”, celebrated the death and glamorized school shootings in one of his music videos, culminating in the shooting of the shooter by police.

There’s also the unexplained obsession with the number 47 – which is the 4th of July date backwards.

Then, on the morning of Independence Day, this obsession with violence seems to have left the online world and entered the real lives of families, friends and innocent locals who had turned out to watch the parade. of July 4.

Investigators said Mr. Crimo, dressed in women’s clothing and armed with an AR-15, walked onto the parade route and scaled the roof of a nearby building.

It then unleashed a hail of more than 70 bullets into the crowd of parade spectators and participants below, officials said.

Seven people were killed in the attack and dozens more were injured.

Mr. Crimo then managed to escape the scene undetected because he was dressed in women’s clothing.

Photo of Robert Crimo disguised as a woman to flee the area of ​​the shooting


Hiding in plain sight among panicked onlookers fleeing the scene, the suspect reportedly calmly walked to his mother’s house.

He was arrested hours later when he was spotted driving along a highway in his mother’s car.

Investigators said Mr Crimo acted alone and “planned his attack for several weeks”.

On Tuesday, Mr. Crimo was charged with seven counts of first-degree murder.

He purchased several firearms – including the AR-15 type rifle used in the attack, a second rifle found in his vehicle when he was arrested, and pistols found in his home – before the mass shooting.

The motive for the attack is still unknown.

Law enforcement, tech companies and even the suspect’s relatives are starting to ask pointed questions about whether any major red flags were missed before the attack.

In an interview with NBC Today On Tuesday morning, Mayor Nancy Rotering admitted that her online posts “reflected a plan and a will to commit carnage long in advance.”

Crimo is an amateur rapper who goes by the name “Awake the Rapper”.

(Robert Crimo/Reuters)

Asked about the missed warning signs at a Tuesday press conference, Lake County Major Crimes Task Force Sgt. Chris Covelli said investigators are reviewing videos posted online by Mr. Crimo and that they had no knowledge of it before the July 4 massacre.

“We’re going to watch them and see what they reveal,” he said.

On Tuesday, Spotify and Youtube announced that they had removed all Mr. Crimo content from their platforms.

Videos glorifying school shootings and mass violence

Among the trail of disturbing online posts are the music videos he posted to his YouTube account under his rap name Awake the Rapper, with videos glorifying school shootings and mass violence.

A video clip shows Mr. Crimo in a school classroom.

He repeatedly raps the lyrics “running out of time” and has his feet on a desk.

Then, at some point, he puts a hand in his backpack on the floor near his desk.

Robert Crimo in a music video in a classroom

(Robert Crimo via REUTERS)

The video abruptly ends and cuts to footage of him in the same classroom dressed in tactical gear and a black helmet as eerie laughter echoes above his head.

Balls are strewn on the floor and the room is a mess.

At one point, he drapes an American flag over his shoulders.

Several cartoon animation videos are also used to glamorize school shootings.

One of his most recent music videos, titled “Are you Awake”, features a cartoon figure of a gunman who strongly resembles Mr. Crimo with his facial tattoos.

The character wears tactical gear and is armed with a rifle, performing a mass fire.

Victims are seen lying on the ground while others hold their hands in the air as they surrender.

“I just have to do it. This is my destiny,” the lyrics go.

In an animated video, the Robert Crimo-like character is seen lying dead in a pool of blood surrounded by heavily armed law enforcement

(Robert Crimo via REUTERS)

In another animated video, titled “Toy Soldier”, the Mr. Crimo-like character is seen lying dead in a pool of blood surrounded by heavily armed law enforcement.

Before the platform removed his content, Mr. Crimo had more than 16,000 listeners a month on his Spotify page.

Celebrating Suicide on Discord

Mr Crimo also used the Discord channel, where he posted on a political board under his username ‘SS’.

His last post was in March where he appeared to celebrate suicide in comments about lawmaker Budd Dwyer.

Dwyer killed himself live on television at a press conference attended by several members of the media in 1986.

The Pennsylvania state treasurer had just been convicted of corruption and faced 55 years in prison.

Mr Crimo posted a photo of the late lawmaker, with the caption: ‘I wish politicians still give speeches like this.’

Other photos of Mr. Crimo taken on Discord appear to refer to suicide.

“Screenshot the cursed image and send it to everyone or don’t commit to it alive,” read the caption on one of her selfies.

The Discord channel was also shut down on Monday evening.

Far-right and pro-Trump sentiment

Mr. Crimo’s online presence indicates that he harbors far-right and pro-Donald Trump sentiment.

His Discord server name was “SS” – the Nazi group responsible for the murder of millions of Jews during the Holocaust.

Photos shared on social media by Mr. Crimo also appear to show that he is a supporter of Mr. Trump – who himself is currently the subject of a congressional investigation into the January 6 Capitol riot.

In a selfie, Mr. Crimo was dressed as the character from “Where’s Waldo” while attending a pro-Trump rally in Northbrook, Illinois, in September 2020.

Robert Crimo dressed as ‘Where’s Waldo’ at a 2020 Trump rally


The photo shows a Trump 2020 flag in the background.

Mr. Crimo was also photographed in a Chicago Grandstand history of the rally, where the protest was described as “tense” with supporters and counter-protesters clashing.

Another photo circulating online shows Mr. Crimo wrapped in a blue Mr. Trump flag.

However, the 21-year-old also liked a video of President Joe Biden.

Robert Crimo wearing a Trump 2020 flag


It also emerged that Mr Crimo’s father, Bob Crimo, only follows one account on Twitter – an archived account of Mr Trump’s tweets.

Bob Crimo made a failed bid as mayor of Highland Park where he lost to current mayor Ms Rotering.

Images of the attack site

In addition to the violent graphic content, last year Mr. Crimo also posted a video online that appeared to point to the location of the attack.

The footage, posted on his personal blog, shows Central Avenue in Highland Park from the ground.

Central Avenue was the main street of the parade route.

Other online content sending alarm bells includes that he allegedly shared a beheading video on a message board and also references Lee Harvey Oswald – the man who murdered JFK, reported BNC News.

Obsession with the number 47

Mr. Crimo also seems to have a bizarre obsession with the number 47, making repeated references to it on his Twitter account and even getting the number tattooed on the side of his face.

The number was also painted on the door of a car that was seen parked outside his family home on Tuesday.

Social media users suggested the number was “part of his violent fantasy world”, with many pointing to a photo of Mr Crimo wearing a dark suit with a red tie that appeared to closely resemble the Agent 47 character from the Hitman video game.

Other suggestions about the meaning of the number are that it spells the date July 4th backwards.

The next president would also be the 47th.

A Twitter post with the number ’47’ repeated over and over again shared by the shooter


A car bearing the number 47 is parked outside the suspect’s home

(AFP via Getty Images)

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