h“He didn’t see signs of trouble,” his uncle said.
The mayor said she remembered him as “just a little boy” when she knew him as a cub.
Local police said he wasn’t even on their radar.
But a closer look at Robert Crimo’s online presence tells an entirely different story.
Across several platforms, the 21-year-old often posts disturbing and violent videos including a clip of beheading.
The amateur rapper, whose stage name is “Awake the Rapper,” celebrated the murder and school shooting in one of his music videos, culminating in the gunman’s fatal police shooting.
There’s also an unexplained obsession with the number 47 – the date July 4th backwards.
Then, on Independence Day morning, this obsession with violence seems to have left the online world and entered the real life of the innocent families, friends, and locals who came out to watch the 4th of July Parade.
Investigators said Cremo, disguised as a woman and armed with an AR-15, went to the parade route and climbed the roof of a nearby building.
He then fired a volley of more than 70 rounds of bullets into a crowd of parade-goers and participants below, officials said.
Seven people were killed in the attack and dozens were wounded.
Then Cremo managed to escape from the scene without being detected because he was wearing women’s clothing.
The suspect, hiding in plain sight of terrified showrunners fleeing the scene, allegedly walked quietly to his mother’s house.
He was arrested hours later when he was seen driving down the highway in his mother’s car.
Investigators said Cremo acted alone and “planned his attack several weeks in advance”.
On Tuesday, Mr. Cremo was charged with seven counts of first-degree murder.
He bought several firearms—including an AR-15 assault rifle, another one found in his car during his arrest and pistols at his home—before the mass shooting.
The motive for the attack is still unknown.
Law enforcement, tech companies, and even those close to the suspect began to face specific questions about whether major red flags had been missed in the lead-up to the attack.
In an interview with NBC, today Showing Tuesday morning, Mayor Nancy Rottering admitted that his online posts “reflect a plan and desire to commit massacre long in advance.”
When the Lake County Major Crimes Task Force questioned Sgt. Chris Coveley about the warning signs that weren’t being ignored at a news conference Tuesday, he said investigators were reviewing videos Cremo posted online and that they weren’t aware of them prior to the July 4 massacre. .
“We will look at them and see what they reveal,” he said.
On Tuesday, both Spotify and Youtube announced that they had removed all Crimo content from their platform.
Videos glorifying school shootings and mass violence
Among the effects of the disturbing online posts are the music videos he posted on his YouTube account under his rap name Awake the Rapper, with videos glorifying school shootings and mass violence.
One of the music videos sees Mr. Kremo sitting inside a school classroom.
He would repeatedly sing the words “I’m out of time” and put his feet up on a desk.
Then, at one point, he reaches into his bag on the floor next to his desk.
The video stopped abruptly and cut short clips of him in the same classroom in tactical gear and a black helmet, with frightful laughter heard in the sky.
Bullets are scattered on the floor and the room is in disarray.
At some point, the American flag is draped over his shoulders.
Many cartoon animation videos are also used to enchant school shootings.
One of his latest music videos, “Are You Awake”, shows a shooter cartoon character who looks a lot like Mr. Cremo with his face tattoo.
This guy is dressed in tactical gear, armed with a shotgun, and engaged in mass shooting.
Victims were seen lying on the ground while others held their hands in the air in surrender.
“I just need to do this,” says the lyrics.
In another animated video, titled “Toy Soldier,” the Cremo-like character is seen dead in a pool of blood surrounded by heavily armed law enforcement.
Before the platform took it down, Cremo had over 16,000 listeners per month on his Spotify page.
Celebrating suicide on Discord
Cremo also used the Discord channel, posting on the policy board under his username “SS”.
His last post was in March where he appeared to be celebrating suicide in comments about Representative Bud Doerr.
Dwyer is notorious for killing himself live on television during a press conference attended by several members of the media in 1986.
The Pennsylvania state treasurer had just been convicted of bribery and was facing 55 years in prison.
Cremo posted a photo of the late MP, with the caption: “I wish politicians would keep making speeches like this.”
Other images of Cremo from Discord appear to suggest suicide.
Read the caption on one of his selfies “Curse screenshot and send it to everyone or commit you’re no longer alive.”
The Discord channel was also closed Monday evening.
Far-right and pro-Trump sentiment
Cremo’s online presence suggests that he has some far-right and pro-Donald Trump sentiment.
His Discord server name was “SS” – the Nazi group responsible for killing millions of Jews in the Holocaust.
Photos that Cremo shared on social media also appear to show that he is a supporter of Mr. Trump – who is himself currently the focus of a congressional investigation into the January 6 Capitol riots.
In one selfie, Mr. Kremo was dressed as a character from “Where’s Waldo” while attending a pro-Trump rally in Northbrook, Illinois, in September 2020.
The photo shows the Trump 2020 flag in the background.
Karimo was also photographed in the image of a Chicago Tribune A story about the rally, where he described the protest as “tension” with supporters and anti-demonstrators facing each other.
Another image circulating online shows Mr. Cremo draped in Mr Trump’s blue flag.
However, the 21-year-old also liked a video of President Joe Biden.
It also turns out that Bob Cremo, Cremo’s father, only follows one account on Twitter – an archived account of Trump’s tweets.
Bob Cremo made an unsuccessful bid as Mayor of Highland Park where he lost to the current mayor, Mrs. Rottering.
Snapshots from the attack site
In addition to the violent content, last year Kremo posted a video online that appeared to locate the attack.
The footage, posted on his personal blog, shows Central Avenue in Highland Park from the ground.
Central Avenue was the main thoroughfare of the parade route.
Other online content that sends alarm bells includes a video of his beheading on a message board and also refers to Lee Harvey Oswald – the man who allegedly assassinated JFK. NBC News.
Possession of the number 47
Mr. Crimo also appears to have a strange obsession with the number 47, making frequent references to it on his Twitter account and even having the number tattooed on the side of his face.
The number was also painted on the door of a car seen parked outside his family’s home on Tuesday.
Social media users referred to the figure as “part of his violent fantasy world”, with many referring to an image of Mr. Cremo in a dark suit with red tie that looked a lot like the Agent 47 character from the shooting video game Hitman.
Another suggestion about the number’s significance is that it shows the date of July 4th backwards.
The next president will also be forty-seventh.