US police have arrested 22-year-old Robert E. Cremo after he was named a key figure in the mass shooting that left at least six people dead and 36 injured during a show on July 4 in Illinois.
Cremo was arrested after a brief chase near Lake Forest, a suburb of Chicago, about six miles from the site of the massacre, a few hours after firing a high-powered rifle into a crowd enjoying the holiday.
The shooter appeared to have taken up a sniper position on a rooftop before shooting and unleashing scenes of chaos as people run for cover to save their lives.
Who is Robert Cremo?
Mr. Cremo uses the nickname Bobby and is an amateur rapper. He allegedly uploaded a number of videos online, several months before the shooting, filled with violent images and depictions of mass murder.
He goes by the stage name “Awake the Rapper” and has over 16,000 listeners per month on his Spotify page with a net worth of $100,000 (£82,645).
His social media footprint suggests that a video game enthusiast who seemed to fantasize about mass shootings.
A recent video clip that Cremo posted on YouTube showed the aftermath of a school shooting with him wrapping himself in an American flag.
In another animated video called “Toy Soldier,” he appeared to show his death.
The video clip showed a man, apparently embodying Cremo, wearing a black T-shirt with his YouTube logo on, lying in a pool of blood during a confrontation with police.
The video begins with a student texting in class while Mr. Cremo sings “f*** this world” with images showing a heavily armed shooter opening fire inside a school.
In another video, appearing in a class in a black bike helmet, he said he was “like a sleepwalker. I know what I have to do,” adding that “everything led to it. Nothing could stop me, even myself.”
The YouTube channel that posted the videos was unavailable on Monday evening after being publicly available for several months.
In 2020, he was photographed attending a rally for Donald Trump dressed as the main character from “Where’s Waldo?” In another photo on Twitter, he is seen draped in a Trump flag like a cloak. He was also photographed wearing an FBI hat and had liked a video of Joe Biden.
Crimo had his own Discord server called “SS”, where he could chat with people. It has since been removed. According to NBC News, a political board with many nihilistic memes appeared in the community.
The last post on the community before the March shooting shows a photo of Bud Doerr, a Pennsylvania state treasurer who shot himself on live television in the late 1980s with the caption, “I wish politicians would still make speeches like this.”
Discord users have shared photos of Mr. Crimo with one selfie apparently suggesting suicide. Caption text: “Screenshot a damned picture and send it to everyone or commit not to live anymore (sic)”.
According to the FBI, Mr. Cremo has a tattoo on his face that shows four stat marks with a line punctuating his right cheek and cursive text above his left eyebrow that says “Wake up.”
Mr. Cremo also has a tattoo of red roses and green leaves on his neck.
Robert Cremo family
Cremo’s father has been identified as Bob Cremo Sr., 58, a local deli owner who once ran for Mayor of Highland Park in 2019 but lost by a two-to-one margin to the incumbent.
Just days after the Uvalde Elementary School shooting in Texas in which 19 children and two teachers were killed in a mass shooting, a Twitter account purposely affiliated with Crimo Sr liked a tweet in support of the Second Amendment.
“Protect the Second Amendment as if your life depended on it,” read the May 28 tweet.
His mother has been identified as Denis Pessina, 48, a Mormon who offers alternative therapies, according to the British newspaper The Guardian. daily Mail.
Cremo’s page on IMDb describes him as the middle child of three siblings in an Italian-American family in Highland Park, Illinois.
His uncle, Paul Cremo, told Fox 23 Chicago that the family saw no “warning signs” that he might be involved in the shooting.
“I didn’t see any signs of trouble. If I saw signs I would have said something,” his uncle said. He said his nephew was a “YouTube rapper” who once worked for Panera Bread bakery.