July 5, 2022 Highland Park, Illinois, parade shooting news

By Travis Caldwell, Kelly McCleary, Aditi Sangal, Adrienne Vogt, Maureen Chowdhury, Elise Hammond and Melissa Macaya, CNN

Updated 9:15 PM ET, Tue July 5, 2022
3 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
12:17 p.m. ET, July 5, 2022

Shooting suspect posted violent imagery

From CNN's Jeff Winter, Yahya Abou-Ghazala and David Williams

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.

12:05 a.m. ET, July 5, 2022

"It was sickening": Highland Park residents describe scene at parade

From CNN's Jason Hanna, Adrienne Broaddus, Eric Levenson and Susannah Cullinane

Miles Zaremski, a Highland Park, Illinois, resident, told CNN he was walking to the Fourth of July parade when he heard a "pop" and thought that maybe a car backfired.

"And then there were multiple pops," he told CNN's Katilan Collins. "I'd say I heard maybe, and I'm guessing, about 30 pops. There was a pause in between, a set of pops, and then a second set of pops. And then the crowd that was on either side of [Central Ave.] started rushing, a stampede like, going west, which is against me," he explained.

He added, "It was sickening. It was just chaotic and I'm not going to get into the politics of gun control, but if it can happen in a suburb like Highland Park, which is loving and peaceful and a Chicago suburb, not only can it happen in churches and synagogues and schools, but it can happen in any community."

Jeff Leon, 57, told CNN on Monday he heard what he believes were gunshots ring out minutes into the start of the parade.

Leon said the shot sounded like "firecrackers in a garbage can," and it wasn't until he saw police officers reacting, that he knew anything had happened.

Zoe Pawelczak said many parade-goers initially thought the array of pops were fireworks given the occasion.

"And I was like, something's wrong. I grabbed my dad and started running. All of a sudden everyone behind us started running," she said. "I looked back probably 20 feet away from me. I saw a girl shot and killed," she said.

Pawelczak and her father hid behind a dumpster for about an hour until police moved them into a sporting goods store, she said, and then eventually escorted them back to their car. She saw one person who had been shot in the ear and had blood all over his face, and another girl who was shot in the leg, she said.

"It looked like a battle zone, and it's disgusting. It's really disgusting," she said.

Read more about what witnesses saw here:

CNN's Shawn Nottingham, Brynn Gingras, Sarah Moon and Dakin Andone contributed to this post.

12:06 a.m. ET, July 5, 2022

Illinois senator touts new gun legislation, says more needs to be done

From CNN's Jamiel Lynch

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.