Police Arrest Local Rapper in Connection to Highland Park Mass Shooting

Six people were killed when a gunman on a rooftop fired at those below gathered to watch a Fourth of July parade.
A police officer reacts as he walks in downtown Highland Park, a suburb of Chicago, Monday, July 4, 2022, where a mass shooting took place at a Highland Park Fourth of July parade.
A police officer reacts as he walks in downtown Highland Park, a suburb of Chicago, Monday, July 4, 2022, where a mass shooting took place at a Highland Park Fourth of July parade. Photo via AP.

This story has been updated to reflect the suspect is now in police custody.

Police have arrested a local rapper in connection to the horrific mass shooting that took place at a Fourth of July parade in suburban Chicago Monday morning. 

About 15 minutes into the event, a man began firing from a rooftop at people enjoying the parade in Highland Park, a wealthy Chicago-area suburb. Almost 30 people were shot and six people were killed. 

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Shortly after naming Robert E. Crimo III a person of interest early Monday evening, police said he was “taken into custody without incident,” the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

Earlier, police said the 22-year-old was driving a 2010 Honda Fit and he was to be "considered very dangerous.” They did not say why they considered him a suspect. No charges have been announced as of the publication of this story.

Police released an image of Crimo, and his social media accounts were quickly discovered, including multiple posts of him rapping under the name Awake the Rapper. Some of his songs have had millions of plays on Spotify. Several of the music videos featuring Crimo contained references to mass shootings, including crude drawings showing a figure shooting people. In one video, he cryptically references an action he will take but has no control over. 

In some of the music videos and a Facebook photo, he can be seen wearing a helmet with a GoPro on it. Photos and videos of the man show him to be tall and slender with face tattoos and, in some images, multi-coloured hair. 

The victims of the shooting range in age from 8 to 85. Five of those killed died on the scene and one died in hospital. Multiple victims in hospital are in critical condition. A hospital spokesperson said at least four to five kids were shot. A doctor who was at the parade and helped treat those injured on the scene said “people were immediately killed with horrific gunshot wounds.”

 "The bodies that I saw, it was not an image that anyone who's not a physician would have an easy time processing," he said.