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Illinois shooting | The perpetrator of the shooting, a sinister and violent aspiring rapper

The only one arrested for the Highland Park Independence Day massacre, 22-year-old Robert E. Crimo III, known as Bobby, was an aspiring rapper with the stage name Awake the Rapper. Under this alias he posted dozens of videos and songs on social media, some sinister and violent.


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In a video that has been removed by YouTube, Crimo raps about armies “walking in the dark” when a drawing appears of a man pointing a rifle, a body on the ground and another figure with hands up in the distance. A later image shows a close-up of a hood oozing blood and another of police cars arriving as a shooter raises his hands.

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Robert E. Crimo III in a video of one of his songs posted on social networks

Robert Crimo / Reuters

In another video, in which Crimo appears in what looks like a high school class with a black helmet and dark technical clothes, he says that he is “like a sleepwalker… I know what I have to do”, and then adds: “Everything has led to this. Nothing can stop me, not even myself.” In another scene he wraps himself in the American flag. The raucous music is accompanied by sinister clown laughter.

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Dubijo of a bloodied person lying on the ground that appears in one of Robert E. Crimo III’s videos

Robert Crimo / Reuters

It so happens that Crimo’s father, Bob, a long-time deli owner, ran unsuccessfully for mayor of Highland Park in 2019 and called himself “a person for the people.”

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Robert E. Crimo III in an image posted on social networks

Robert Crimo / Reuters

Highland Park is a community of about 30,000 people located on the shores of Lake Michigan, just north of Chicago, with mansions and sprawling lakeside estates that have long attracted the rich and sometimes famous, including the NBA legend Michael Jordan who lived in the city for years when he played for the Chicago Bulls.


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