CHICAGO — The search for a 22-year-old man whom authorities suspected opened fire during the Highland Park Independence Day parade, killing at least six people and injuring more than two dozen others, ended Monday night when he was arrested on The North Shore.
Robert “Bobby” Crimo III’s arrest came about eight hours after the mass shooting, which stunned the Chicago area and country as it celebrated the 4th of July.
Late Monday afternoon, Highland Park Police Chief Lou Jogmen had identified Crimo as the person of interest, saying he was driving a silver 2010 Honda Fit.
Crimo was spotted by North Chicago Police near US Highway 41 and Buckley Road. An officer attempted to arrest Crimo, but he briefly fled before being arrested, Jogmen said.
More than 100 law enforcement had helped throughout the day to search for the suspect after he opened fire from a rooftop along the parade route. The police net had started with a perimeter around the heart of Highland Park, gradually expanding to include police activity in neighboring neighborhoods and finally in other suburbs.
Crimo was described as a longtime suburban resident who posted videos online under the nickname “The Awake Rapper”.
An archive of 17 YouTube videos apparently owned by Crimo alternates between wholesome and foreboding.
In one video, a teenager who looks like Crimo is skateboarding and jostling with his buddies. Another captures what appears to be a government motorcade escorted by police leaving an airport before a man who appears to be Crimo pans the camera towards his tattooed face.
A black-and-white video, taken with a selfie stick, shows a brooding figure that looks like Crimo walking through a neighborhood. In another, a journal with a headline by Lee Harvey Oswald can be seen over his shoulder.
The scariest video is the latest in the series, uploaded eight months ago, which features footage of a young man in a bedroom and classroom as well as cartoons of a gunman and shot people .
Superimposed on the video is a rotating image of interlocking triangles. “I just have to do it,” says a voiceover over instrumental music. ” It’s my destiny. Everything led to this. Nothing can stop me, not even me. Is there such a thing as free will, or was it planned as a cosmic recipe? It’s what I’ve been waiting for in the back of my head, ready to be woken up. That’s what I was sent here to do, like a sleepwalker walking steadily with my head held high, like a sleepwalker walking blindly through the night.
Meanwhile, an investigation into the firearm used in the attack was ongoing after authorities announced a rifle had been recovered from the scene.
Details of the recovered rifle were the subject of an urgent and expedited search by the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Firearms traceability information, in general, provides details of the manufacture as well as where a firearm was shipped for sale by a federally licensed firearms dealer.
The trace includes contact with the dealer, who must check the documents to determine to whom the firearm was originally sold. Once completed, the information will be passed on to Highland Park Police, authorities said.
The Lake County Major Crimes Task Force, Highland Park Police and the FBI were leading the investigation, but “there are dozens of police departments on the scene and our federal partners are also deployed,” according to the police.
The chaos began around 10.15am when the gunman, allegedly Crimo, stood on a rooftop and opened fire, shooting at least 30 people – at least six of them fatally, around 15 minutes after the parade of July 4 from the northern suburbs, according to police and the Lake County Sheriff’s Office.
Prior to Crimo’s arrest, Lake County Deputy Sheriff Chris Covelli urged people to stay home and be careful while a search was underway, with armored police vehicles descending on quiet streets from the suburbs and law enforcement officers guarding the perimeter of neighborhoods with guns.
“No neighborhood is safe,” said Jonathan Kozera, 56, who lives around the corner from the Highland Park home that has been the subject of law enforcement work. “There is too much hate in this country. We should be celebrating today, not hurting people. There are a lot of sick people. »
Meanwhile, in a block near Highwood, neighbors watched as FBI agents massed in the driveway of a house where Crimo was supposed to live.
Gio Montenegro did not know the suspect, but saw him spending almost every day on his electric scooter. His brother went to school with Crimo, he said.
“He was quiet,” he said. “Never said anything. I just mind his business, put his loud music on his scooter.
As officers moved through the house, Crimo’s next-door neighbors walked down their driveway. They knew nothing of the boy and the family next door, they said.
Later that day, Chicago police advanced on a West Taylor Street home apparently linked to a Crimo relative. They were still there with streets closed in the area when Crimo was arrested on the North Shore.
(Chicago Tribune reporters Jeremy Gorner and John Keilman contributed to this story.)