Follow the latest news of the Illinois Fourth of July parade shooting here and read more about today’s developments in the posts below.
July 4, 2022 Highland Park, Illinois, parade shooting
By Aditi Sangal, Elise Hammond, Maureen Chowdhury, Mike Hayes, Melissa Macaya, Steve Almasy and Ritu Prasad, CNN
Suspected gunman Robert “Bobby” Crimo III posted online music videos he apparently made that featured ominous sounding lyrics and animated scenes of gun violence.
In one video titled “Are you Awake,” Crimo is seen with multicolored hair and face tattoos and is narrating, “I need to just do it. It is my destiny.”
The video shows a cartoon animation of a stick-figure man -- who resembles Crimo -- in tactical gear carrying out an attack with a rifle.
In another video titled “Toy Soldier,” a similar stick-figure cartoon character resembling Crimo is depicted lying face down on the floor in a pool of his own blood, surrounded by police officers with their guns drawn.
Crimo, who calls himself “Awake the Rapper,” posted his music on several major streaming outlets and on a personal website. The Facebook and Twitter accounts believed to belong to Crimo were taken down after he was named as a person of interest in the mass shooting that killed at least six people. His Facebook profile photo showed him wearing a helmet with a camera mount, a face cover and a multicolored jacket.
On September 24, he posted a video on Twitter that shows him sitting on a set resembling a classroom, wearing a helmet and posing in various scenes while an instrumental arrangement of “When Johnny Comes Marching Home” plays in the background.
He had not posted on Twitter since October 26, 2021, when he wrote, “I am not a robot."
In yet another music video for a song titled “On My Mind,” Crimo performs in a classroom set filled with desks, lockers and chalkboards. In the last minute of the video, the viewers see a shot of Crimo reaching into his backpack before the music abruptly cuts. Then, Crimo is seen wearing a helmet and a tactical vest, dropping bullets onto the floor of the classroom, with the music from a popular shooting video game, "Call of Duty," playing over the scene.
The videos appear to have been posted online last year.
Monday's deadly shooting was an American tragedy, Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin said during a visit to Highland Park.
“What happened at the parade and all the poor victims and those who were killed in the process breaks my heart," he said.
Durbin, the Senate majority whip, touted the recently passed bipartisan gun bill as an important step, but said there are things it didn't address.
“There is no reason for a person to own a military assault weapon. It has no value for hunting, or sports or even self-defense,” he said. "It is a killing machine."
He said he was on vacation and drove seven hours to get to Highland Park as soon as he heard about the shooting.
"The stories already coming out and some of them are just things that we’ll never forget. What happened to these wonderful people who were just simply bringing their families out to watch a Fourth of July parade. What an American day. What an American experience. And what an American tragedy followed," he said.
The senator said it was a day people will remember for a long time.
After praising the efforts of first responders, Durbin said: "It was the best of America with those (emergency responders) that I just described, it was the worst of America that a man took a rifle -- a high velocity rifle -- and turned it on innocent people and ruined lives and ruined many families in many ways."
Durbin also urged people to vote in elections.
"If you’re sick and tired of that and think that’s not what America should be all about, elect people who feel like you do,” he said.
When authorities discussed the apprehension of Robert E. Crimo III during an evening news conference, Lake County Major Crime Task Force spokesperson Christopher Covelli said calling a person a suspect or a person of interest amounts to the same thing.
Law enforcement officials have “processed a significant amount of digital evidence today which helped lead investigators in this direction. So, calling somebody a suspect or person of interest, it’s really synonymous," he said. "This individual is believed to have been responsible for what happened and the investigation will continue. Charges have not been approved yet at this time -- and we are a long way from that."
Earlier, as law enforcement searched for Crimo, police labeled him "a person of interest" and the FBI said, "He being sought for his alleged involvement in the shooting of multiple individuals at an Independence Day parade in Highland Park, Illinois."
Ryan Lerman, a delivery driver, captured the moments that suspected shooter Robert E. Crimo III was taken into custody near Lake Forest, Illinois.
Lerman told CNN he had been following the news, so he noticed the Honda Fit right away.
��He was there for a minute and then like seven cop cars showed up,” Lerman said.
In the video, police can be heard giving commands for Crimo to get out of the vehicle. Police with guns drawn are seen as Crimo exits the vehicle with his hands in the air.
An uncle of the man taken into custody in connection with the shooting told CNN he saw no warning signs that would prompt him to believe his nephew would have been involved in such a tragedy.
Paul A. Crimo said he spoke at length to law enforcement Monday about his nephew, Robert “Bobby” Crimo III, and said "(i)t seems like he is the suspect."
“I’m heartbroken. I’m so heartbroken,” Paul said. “There were no signs that I saw that would make him do this.”
He said has not ever seen Bobby engage in any violence or concerning behavior. “I have nothing bad to say about him,” he said.
Paul said he does not know of any political views held by his nephew.
“He’s a quiet kid,” he said. “He’s usually on his own. He’s a lonely, quiet person. He keeps everything to himself.”
Bobby lives in an apartment behind the house owned by his father -- and Paul's brother -- Robert Crimo Jr., he said. Paul also lives at the house in the city of Highwood, he said.
He never saw any friends coming over to Bobby’s place, he said, and to his knowledge, Bobby did not have a job, though he worked at Panera Bread before the coronavirus pandemic. Paul described him as active on YouTube.
“I associate with him, but I don’t really like to engage with him. I say hi and then when I leave I say bye. That’s it,” he said, though he noted he has known Bobby since he was born.
Paul said he last saw his nephew Sunday evening, when Bobby was sitting on a recliner in the house, looking at his computer. He said when he came home, Bobby was probably in his room. “Everything was as normal,” he said.
Paul said he spoke to the FBI around 2:30 p.m. Monday after he returned home and they “ran me through the ringer.” His brother, who was not at home at the time, gave law enforcement officials permission to search the home, he said.
“We are good people here, and to have this is devastating," Paul told CNN, also noting his brother once ran for mayor. “I’m so heartbroken for all the families who lost their lives.”
Robert E. Crimo III has been taken into custody near Lake Forest, Illinois, authorities said during a brief news conference just before 8 p.m. ET.
Authorities said Crimo was spotted by a North Chicago officer who attempted to initiate a traffic stop. Crimo then fled and led officers on a brief pursuit before being stopped in Lake Forest, Illinois.
He was taken into custody without incident and will be taken to the Highland Park police department.
When asked, authorities said they are still calling Crimo a “person of interest” while they investigate and connect him to the scene.
Rainan Lowrey, 19, was in his apartment overlooking the parade route in Highland Park, Illinois, on Monday when he heard gunshots. Lowrey said he didn’t realize they were gunshots at first and thought the noise was from fireworks.
“I saw everyone look confused and then running in terror,” he told CNN. “I’m a photographer and videographer so my instinct was to record.”
In a video Lowrey recorded, gunshots can be heard immediately, and people can be seen fleeing the scene. The video continues with more sounds of gunshots -- for nearly 20 seconds in the minute-long video -- and people can be heard screaming.
After he ended his recording, Lowrey said he went downstairs and, along with other neighbors, let people into the building's lobby to get to safety.
“I’ve never experienced anything like this,” he said. “You don’t expect something like this to happen.”
He said that police later searched his apartment building and that he has shared the video he recorded with the authorities.
Watch the video:
Illinois Sen. Tammy Duckworth said she is working to help get the Highland Park community any resources they need, both in regards to the manhunt for the suspect that is currently underway and also in the weeks and months ahead as people recover from the tragedy.
“My heart goes out to those families who will never see their loved ones again. And I’ve it clear to be Governor Pritzker and Mayor Rotering that I would do whatever I can at the federal level to get them resources they need, not just to catch the shooter but to help Highland Park,” Duckworth said.
Duckworth said she’s been in touch with President Biden and Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas, who she said have both pledged to send resources that are needed.
“This morning, I got up like most Americans, like the families of the six who were killed, to celebrate life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Those six families no longer have that opportunity,” Duckworth said.