(Washington Examiner) The person of interest in the deadly shooting at an Independence Day parade in Highland Park, Illinois, appears to have shared public videos that preview his desire to commit acts of violence, including one video showing himself driving along the parade route where the mass shooting took place.
Robert “Bobby” E. Crimo III, the 22-year-old person of interest, was taken into custody by law enforcement in nearby Lake Forest, Illinois, in the early evening on Monday. As of press time, law enforcement said they believe Crimo is responsible for the shooting but have not labeled him a suspect nor levied charges. A “significant amount of digital evidence” helped lead investigators to zero in on the person of interest, Lake County Major Crime Task Force spokesman Christopher Covelli said when announcing the arrest.
“So this individual is believed to have been responsible for what happened” pic.twitter.com/XSPVFDIr5b
— Acyn (@Acyn) July 5, 2022
Six people were killed and dozens of others were injured and hospitalized in the shooting that took place a little after 10 a.m. in the suburb of Chicago, according to officials.
— Tre Ward ABC 7 (@TreWardTV) July 4, 2022
The Washington Examiner viewed videos pulled from Crimo’s BlogSpot video archive page, which remained active even after a YouTube page associated with Crimo was shut down. Crimo performed as a rapper named Awake the Rapper.
In a short video titled “Where is Everyone?,” an Emergency Alert System can repeatedly be heard playing, as video apparently being shot from the back of a vehicle shows him driving down an empty main street lined with American flags. The street appears to be the exact street on the parade route where the mass shooting occurred on Monday.
In the right corner of the video, a Salon Lofts store can be seen as the video moves away down the street. The video then crosses train tracks, and then a First Bank office is on the left side of the video as the video continues moving. A Google Map street view shows that this is Central Avenue in Highland Park and was part of the parade route, with the video seeming to end very close to where Monday’s shooting on Central Avenue took place.
The Google Drive for the BlogSpot post indicated the video was uploaded on Aug. 8, 2021, suggesting he may have considered attacking the July Fourth parade route for nearly a year at least. The city’s Fourth of July parade appears to have been canceled in 2020 and 2021 due to COVID-19, but the parade route was the same in years prior.
Another video dubbed “Project Arcturus” — Arcturus is the name of a red giant star named for a Greek myth — shows a drawing of someone wearing a helmet and straps across their back and chest gunning people down with a rifle. In the drawing, one person is on their knees with their hands up, while multiple dead bodies are on the ground. Crimo shows himself wearing a similar helmet and outfit in the video. In the same video, Crimo repeatedly shows what appears to be himself in his bedroom with an “Oswald Slain in Jail Shift” newspaper hanging on the wall above him. Lee Harvey Oswald assassinated President John F. Kennedy in 1963.
Some of the video was filmed in a classroom, giving the impression he may have considered a school shooting before attacking the parade instead. The video also appears to depict a drawing of Crimo himself bleeding in the chest.
Another video was titled “Are You Awake?” (also called “Sleepwalker 1” when it is downloaded), and although it was a different video, it also repeatedly showed the same drawing of people being shot and the same depiction of Crimo bleeding and displayed the same Oswald newspaper above Crimo.