Police Arrest Local Rapper in Connection to Highland Park Mass Shooting

July 4, 2022 Off By Mack Lamoureux

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 Illinois. 

On Monday morning, a man began firing from a rooftop at people enjoying a parade in Highland Park, a wealthy Chicago-area suburb. Almost 30 people were shot and six people were killed. 

Shortly after naming him a person of interest early Monday evening, police said Robert E. Crimo III 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 laid as of the publication of this story.

Police released an image of Crimo and social media accounts for the young man were quickly found online. One of the largest online footprints left by him was online rapping, where he went by the name Awake the Rapper, with 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 the top of it. Photos and videos of the man show him to be tall and slender with face tattoos and, at times, multi-coloured hair. 

The victims of the shooting range from age eight to 85. Five of those killed died on the scene and one died in hospital. Multiple of the victims in hospital remain in critical condition. A hospital spokesperson said at least four to five kids were shot. A doctor who was on scene 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.