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Highland Park massacre suspect Robert Crimo, 22, is rapper ‘Awake’ with 16,000 listeners on Spotify

The man suspected of killing six people and wounding more than a dozen others during a July 4th parade in Highland Park is a Donald Trump-supporting rapper with a seemingly-successful music career. 

Robert ‘Bobby’ Crimo III, 22, who goes by the moniker Awake the Rapper, boasts more than 16,000 listeners per month on Spotify and has a net worth of $100,000. 

Music videos posted by Crimo online last fall include a drawing of himself shooting people online, and a disturbing clip of himself throwing bullets on the floor of a classroom while wearing armor in what appears to be a joke about school shootings.

Police have said he was ‘known to law enforcement’ but it is not yet known if this was due to the violent videos which were hosted by YouTube until they were taken down last night.

The rap career has taken on a chilling relevance in the wake of the shooting. So far, synagogue teacher Jacki Sundheim, a married mother, and grandfather Nicolas Toledo, 78, have been named as victims.

A total of 26 victims were also injured, 25 of whom suffered gunshot wounds. Six remain in hospital for treatment. The age ranges of the victims sits between eight and 85, with around four or five of those shot believed to be children.  

Sundheim was remembered in a glowing tribute posted by her synagogue, while Toledo’s family told of how they were splattered with his blood at the event – which they say he had been reluctant to go to. 

President Joe Biden said he and his wife Jill were ‘shocked by the senseless gun violence that has yet again brought grief to an American community on this Independence Day’, and vowed to continue the fight against the shooting ‘epidemic’. Kamala Harris is expected to visit Chicago today but it is not known if she will meet victims.

Crimo was arrested after an hours long manhunt that involved local and federal authorities. It has now emerged his father Bob Sr, 58, is a local deli owner who once ran for mayor, while his mom Denise Pesina, 48, was once arrested on suspicion of domestic battery.

She appears to have become a Mormon and is also into alternative therapies, according to her Facebook page. 

Crimo has two siblings, including a 27 year-old sister called Lynette Pesina, with the family residing in a comfortable $425,000 home in Highwood, close to the scene of the shooting. 

In 2020, Crimo was pictured attending a Donald Trump rally while dressed as Where’s Waldo. Another picture has emerged showing the suspect wrapped in a Donald Trump flag. 

Robert ‘Bobby’ Crimo III is pictured during his arrest after an hours-long manhunt following the massacre in which six people were killed

In one online bio, Crimo boasted of having a net worth of $100,000. On his Spotify page, he has over 16,000 monthly listens, He is pictured as his rap alter-ego Awake

In one online bio, Crimo boasted of having a net worth of $100,000. On his Spotify page, he has over 16,000 monthly listens, He is pictured as his rap alter-ego Awake

Crimo shared a video where he reached into a schoolbag in an empty fake classroom...

...moments before the screen cut to images of him in armor scattering bullets on its floor

Crimo posted multiple disturbing videos which have taken on a new relevance in the wake of the shooting, including a clip where he reached into his bag in an empty classroom, before the screen cut to him in body armor scattering bullets around the now-trashed room

Police have said he was 'known to law enforcement' but it is not yet known if this was due to the violent videos which included a drawing of a shooter lying in a pool of blood near armed police

Police have said he was ‘known to law enforcement’ but it is not yet known if this was due to the violent videos which included a drawing of a shooter lying in a pool of blood near armed police

Crimo has attended multiple Trump rallies in the past. One of which was described as 'tense' after counter-protesters showed up, according to the Chicago Tribune

Crimo has attended multiple Trump rallies in the past. One of which was described as ‘tense’ after counter-protesters showed up, according to the Chicago Tribune

Crimi is pictured furthest-right in his Where's Waldo outfit at the same Trump rally.

Crimi is pictured furthest-right in his Where’s Waldo outfit at the same Trump rally. 

The family's home shown here in Highwood, just north of Highland Park

The family’s home shown here in Highwood, just north of Highland Park

Armed police carry out a search in the vehicle after Crimo's arrest following a brief chase in Lake Forest yesterday

Armed police carry out a search in the vehicle after Crimo’s arrest following a brief chase in Lake Forest yesterday

Crimo was arrested after an hours long manhunt that involved local and federal authorities

Crimo was arrested after an hours long manhunt that involved local and federal authorities

An IMDb page about the suspect describes him as a 'rapper, singer, songwriter, actor and director from Chicago'

An IMDb page about the suspect describes him as a ‘rapper, singer, songwriter, actor and director from Chicago’ 

One YouTube music video - which saw Crimo eerily discuss his 'destiny' - depicted a figure that appears to be the suspect firing a rifle, while one victim lies on the floor and another holds their hands in the air

One YouTube music video – which saw Crimo eerily discuss his ‘destiny’ – depicted a figure that appears to be the suspect firing a rifle, while one victim lies on the floor and another holds their hands in the air 

Synagogue teacher is identified as second victim of Chicago July 4 massacre as family of grandpa, 76, tell how they were splattered with his blood as he was executed 

 A synagogue teacher has been identified as the second victim of the July 4 Highland Park gun massacre that killed six people. 

Jacki Sundheim, a longtime staffer at North Shore Congregation Israel, was shot and killed when a gunman opened fire at the event, unleashing a hail of bullets on the crowd, the synagogue announced in an email to congregants Monday night.  

 ‘Jacki was a lifelong congregant of NSCI and a cherished member of NSCI’s staff team for decades,’ the synagogue wrote in an email that announced her murder ‘Jacki’s work, kindness and warmth touched us all.’

Sundheim, was the Reform synagogue’s events and b’nei mitzvah coordinator, according to its website. She is survived by her husband Bruce and daughter Leah, the Times of Israel reported. 

‘There are no words sufficient to express the depth of our grief for Jacki’s death,’ the synagogue added. 

Jacki Sundheim, a longtime staffer at North Shore Congregation Israel, was shot and killed when a gunman opened fire at the Fourth of July parade in Highland Park, Illinois on Monday

Jacki Sundheim, a longtime staffer at North Shore Congregation Israel, was shot and killed when a gunman opened fire at the Fourth of July parade in Highland Park, Illinois on Monday

Earlier on Monday evening, a beloved grandfather from Mexico had been identified as one of the victims, by his family who said he was shot in the head as he sat in his wheelchair, his blood splattering on them. 

Nicolas Toledo, 76, had not wanted to attend the parade in Highland Park, Illinois, his granddaughter told the New York Times.

But because of his disabilities that restricted him to a wheelchair, and his family’s insistence of going, he obliged. 

 

At one of the rallies that Crimo was pictured at in Northbrook, Illinois, the Chicago Tribune described it as ‘tense ‘ but said that there was no arrests made as counter-protesters showed up at the event. The ex-president was not present at that rally.

The suspect’s IMDb page describes him as being the middle child of three who grew up in an Italian-American family in Highland Park, Illinois. 

The suspect’s ties to the community go back as far as his grandfather, Robert Crimo, who was born in Highland Park in 1929. Robert Crimo died in 2018. 

His obituary names the suspect’s parents as Bob Jr. and Denise. Most of the family mentioned in the tribute live in the Highland Park-area. 

The family lives along Pleasant Avenue in Highwood, just north of Highland Park. 

Their home is located across the street from Oak Terrace Elementary School.   

In April 2019, Crimo’s father ran for mayor in Highland Park. 

It does not appear that his campaign was backed by a political party. His slogan was a: ‘A Person for the People.’

Bob Crimo was defeated by the town’s current mayor, Nancy Rotering, a liberal, who ran her campaign partly on a platform about gun control.  

In a pre-election profile, Bob Crimo said that he was the owner of two restaurants in the area, White Hen in Ravinia and Bob’s Pantry & Deli in Braeside, Illinois. 

He wrote in the profile: ‘I’m running as mayor as a person for the people in our community.’

He continued: ‘It’s my way of giving back to the community who have been so supportive of me over the years. I live local and I will stay local.’ 

In a 2018 feature with the Chicago Tribune, Bob Crimo was pictured with Denise Pesina. 

He describes his restaurant as a ‘family-run and family-orientated store.’ 

In February 2015, Pesina was arrested in Highland Park on charges of domestic battery while driving, reported Patch.com at the time. 

Further details on the outcome of that case have not been shared. 

Following his defeat, Bob Crimo wrote on Facebook: ‘This has been a great experience. I cannot thank my supporters enough. 

‘Although the polls weren’t in my favor, I will continue to do my best to further the improvement of Highland Park for my fellow neighbors. Thank you all so much again.’

While on his Twitter page, Bob Crimo follows one account, an archived account of ex-President Donald Trump’s tweets. 

On May 27, the same day that 19 children and two teachers were slaughtered at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, Bob Crimo liked a tweet that read: ‘Protect the Second Amendment like your life depends on it.’ 

The suspect’s mother, Denise Pesina, is a healer with a business named Trilogy Energy Systems. 

She regularly posts revealing photos of herself on her Facebook, often while posing with her sphinx cat Sanjay. 

According to the company’s mission statement: ‘Trilogy Energy Systems is committed to the wellbeing of ALL energy systems. 

‘A FULL SPECTRUM HEALING cooperative. One person has the ability to influence innumerous lives.’

The profile on that page says that Pesina studied at Traditional Chinese Medicine at Shanghai University and at the The Ayurvedic Institute, a New Mexico-based school that teaches the principles and practices of Ayurveda, an alternative medicine teaching.

In one of the suspect’s songs, Crimo rapped: ‘My actions will be valiant and my thought is unnecessary, I know what I have to do, I know what’s in it, not only for me, but for everyone else.  

According to the FBI, Crimo’s has tattoos showing four tally marks with a line through them on his right cheek, red roses and green leaves on his neck and cursive script above his left eyebrow that reads: ‘Awake.’ 

The feds said that Crimo has ties in the communities of Rockford, DeKalb and Elgin in Illinois.    

An IMDb page about the suspect describes him as a ‘rapper, singer, songwriter, actor and director from Chicago.’

The most viewed video on the rapper’s YouTube channel is the music video for his song: ‘On My Mind.’ The video, showing a the suspect in a classroom. 

Crimo operated two channels both of which have been deleted for ‘violating YouTube’s Community Guidelines.’

Bob Crimo ran unsuccessfully for mayor of Highland Park in 2019

The suspect's mother Denise Pesina is an alternative healer

Bob Crimo ran unsuccessfully for mayor of Highland Park in 2019. The suspect’s mother Denise Pesina is an alternative healer

On May 27, the same day that 19 children and two teachers were slaughtered at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, Bob Crimo liked this tweet

On May 27, the same day that 19 children and two teachers were slaughtered at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, Bob Crimo liked this tweet

Bob Crimo was defeated by the town's current mayor, Nancy Rotering, a liberal, who ran her campaign partly on a platform about gun control.

Bob Crimo was defeated by the town’s current mayor, Nancy Rotering, a liberal, who ran her campaign partly on a platform about gun control.

The suspect pictured watching President Donald Trump's motorcade leave an airport with other supporters

The suspect pictured watching President Donald Trump’s motorcade leave an airport with other supporters

This year Crimo released an EP titled: 'Brainwashed.' The tracks included: 'Dead Again' and 'I Am the Storm'

This year Crimo released an EP titled: ‘Brainwashed.’ The tracks included: ‘Dead Again’ and ‘I Am the Storm’

The track begins as a slow ballad, including the lines: ‘You’re always on my mind. Cutie with the fat ass, I wanna make you mine. I’m running out of time. Shorty we can skip class, smoke and chill online.’

The song has a sudden change in tempo and shows Crimo reaching into a backpack. The screen goes black and when the music returns it’s dubbed with maniacal laughter and, fast paced piano music and a heavy drum beat. 

The video then shows the classroom ransacked with the suspect smiling. 

Crimo is clad in a combat helmet as he falls to the floor clutching his face and dropping bullets to the floor. 

 The bio goes on to say that his music career began when he was 11 when Crimo began uploading music online. 

His music is in the genre of LoFi rap, according to his Spotify page. He has released three albums, the first in 2017 titled ‘Messages,’ that was followed with 2018’s ‘Observer’ and 2021’s self-titled ‘Awake the Rapper.’ 

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This year he released an EP titled: ‘Brainwashed.’ The tracks included: ‘Dead Again’ and ‘I Am the Storm.’ 

Crimo has an average of 16,46 listens per month on Spotify. 

Chairs remain abandoned at the scene of a mass shooting at a 4th of July celebration and parade in Highland Park, Illinois

Chairs remain abandoned at the scene of a mass shooting at a 4th of July celebration and parade in Highland Park, Illinois

Horror on Independence Day: A police officer bows his head in grief next to abandoned strollers and chairs after a shooting that killed six people in Highland Park, Illinois 

The bloody scene in Highland Park, Illinois, on Monday after a shooter opened fire on a Fourth of July parade shortly after 10am

The bloody scene in Highland Park, Illinois, on Monday after a shooter opened fire on a Fourth of July parade shortly after 10am

Law enforcement officers look over a park near the scene of a mass shooting at a 4th of July celebration and parade in Highland Park, Illinois

Law enforcement officers look over a park near the scene of a mass shooting at a 4th of July celebration and parade in Highland Park, Illinois

Strollers and chairs were abandoned at the scene after the shots rang out at 10.14am, just ten minutes after the parade began

Strollers and chairs were abandoned at the scene after the shots rang out at 10.14am, just ten minutes after the parade began

In his most recent tweet from October 2021 on his artist Twitter page, the suspect tweeted: ‘I am not a robot.’ 

The gunman’s attack began less than 15 minutes after the start of the parade. Witnesses have now told how they saw children being picked off in the crowd. 

Six people are dead including five adults who were killed at the parade. The sixth victim died in the hospital. Their age is not yet known. 

Nicholas Toledo, a grandfather, was among those killed. His family confirmed his death to CBS.  

Chilling videos obtained by DailyMail.com replay how the gunman first unleashed one long hail of bullets before stopping – presumably to reload – and then resuming fire. 

Brigham Temple, the medical director of emergency preparedness for Northshore university health system, said they received 20 patients aged between eight and 85 – 10 of them by ambulance.

Four of five patients were children, he said. One of the children who arrived at Northshore was too critically ill to be transported initially. He was stabilized and airlifted to a children’s hospital in Chicago. 

Temple said some of the patients were in critical condition.

Of the 25 who arrived at the hospital with gunshot wounds, 19 were treated and discharged home.

The aftermath of the scene in Highland Park on Monday after a shooter opened fire on the parade. Chairs and strollers were abandoned by attendees

The aftermath of the scene in Highland Park on Monday after a shooter opened fire on the parade. Chairs and strollers were abandoned by attendees  

Law enforcement officers investigate the scene of a mass shooting at a 4th of July celebration and parade in Highland Park, Illinois, USA, 04 July 2022. A gunman opened fire as people gathered to watch a Fourth of July parade in Highland Park, Illinois, killing at least six people and injuring dozens

Law enforcement officers investigate the scene of a mass shooting at a 4th of July celebration and parade in Highland Park, Illinois, USA, 04 July 2022. A gunman opened fire as people gathered to watch a Fourth of July parade in Highland Park, Illinois, killing at least six people and injuring dozens 

Police officers cross under police tape at the scene of a mass shooting at the Highland Park Fourth of July parade

Police officers cross under police tape at the scene of a mass shooting at the Highland Park Fourth of July parade

Law enforcement search in downtown Highland Park, a Chicago suburb, after a mass shooting at the Highland Park Fourth of July parade, Monday, July 4, 2022

Law enforcement search in downtown Highland Park, a Chicago suburb, after a mass shooting at the Highland Park Fourth of July parade, Monday, July 4, 2022 

One had to be transferred to Evanston hospital. Two patients are still being treated at Northshore. 

‘It is a little surreal to take care of an event such as this,’ he said.

‘But all of us have undergone extensive training.’

He said there was a team of therapists and counsellors standing by. His hospital was one of three taking in patients from the parade shooting.

Witnesses described seeing children being shot at the parade. All of the confirmed deaths so far are those of adults.

Abandoned chairs, strollers, and blankets – once being used by families celebrating the holiday – were left behind in the chaos. 

Bloodied bodies were strewn on the ground in the immediate aftermath of the shooting as people frantically fled from the area.  

‘All of a sudden everyone behind us started running. I looked back, probably 20 feet away from me, I saw a girl shot and killed. I saw her die. I’ve never seen anything like this,’ a woman, who gave her name only as Zoe, told CNN. 

Police say they recovered a ‘rifle’ at the scene but witnesses described multiple rounds being fired in quick succession which they say could only have come from a semi-automatic. 

‘A rifle? No, no. It was an automatic weapon. It was pop, pop, pop – rifles don’t do that,’ she said. 

One woman who survived the massacre shared distressing images of the facial injuries she suffered.  

 This victim, known only by the Twitter handle Lili, began posting photos around noon on July 4, just hours after the shooting began. 

Lili wrote in the caption of this pic: 'I've felt safe at this parade for 18 years and today I got hit with a bullet and nothing will change in America this is ridiculous'

Lili wrote in the caption of this pic: ‘I’ve felt safe at this parade for 18 years and today I got hit with a bullet and nothing will change in America this is ridiculous’

This victim, known only by the Twitter handle Lili, began posting photos around noon on July 4, just hours after the shooting began

This victim, known only by the Twitter handle Lili, began posting photos around noon on July 4, just hours after the shooting began

Lili also took time to highlight vicious trolls who accused her of being a 'crisis actor,' someone who pretends to have been injured in an incident as a means to generate political sympathy

Lili also took time to highlight vicious trolls who accused her of being a ‘crisis actor,’ someone who pretends to have been injured in an incident as a means to generate political sympathy

In one tweet, Lili wrote: 'I want to thank everyone whos interacting with and sharing my post , I didnt post for attention to myself, I wanted to share the reality of what is happening to so many people'

In one tweet, Lili wrote: ‘I want to thank everyone whos interacting with and sharing my post , I didnt post for attention to myself, I wanted to share the reality of what is happening to so many people’

Lili posted another photo showing her giving a statement to local police

Lili posted another photo showing her giving a statement to local police

The first photo shows blood pouring down her face, neck and on to her chest. She wrote in the caption: ‘I cant f**king believe i was in the middle of a mass shooting. 

‘I’ve felt safe at this parade for 18 years and today I got hit with a bullet and nothing will change in America this is ridiculous.’

In a subsequent video, Lili showed a close-up of a deep laceration high on her cheek, just inches from her brain. She confirmed that the laceration was after being grazed by a bullet.

President Biden – who has been calling for gun reform since the Uvalde shooting on May 24 which claimed 19 lives – issued a statement on Monday afternoon. 

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He said he had given his support to the Governor of Illinois and the Highland Park Mayor, and he celebrated his recent passing of a gun control bill.

‘I recently signed the first major bipartisan gun reform legislation in almost thirty years into law, which includes actions that will save lives. 

‘But there is so much more work to do, and I’m not going to give up fighting the epidemic of gun violence,’ he said.

How shooter climbed ladder to stage rooftop massacre and then disappeared for more than EIGHT hours before cops finally arrested him in dramatic traffic stop   

On July 4, a gunman shot and killed six people and wounded 24 more during an independence day parade in the affluent Chicago suburb of Highland Park, Illinois

The suspect in the shooting has been named as local man Robert ‘Bobby’ Crimo III, 22. 

Crimo was arrested more than eight hours after the shooting following a multi-agency manhunt. He was taken into custody not far from where the shooting took place. 

Dramatic photographs from the scene show the suspected mass-murderer – who posted creepy clips about shooting massacres online – being pinned to the ground face-down by police. 

A total of 26 victims aged between eight and 85 were injured, with six still receiving hospital treatment. The area has a large Jewish community, although police have yet to share a possible motive for Monday’s slaughter. 

DailyMail.com has pieced together the key moments from Monday’s shootings, based on information so-far shared by investigators

1. Shooting erupts from rooftop of outdoor supplies store around 10am local time  

The location where the shooter was holed up is thought to be on top of Gearheads, an outdoor equipment store. A ladder can be seen propped against its wall in this image taken after the shooting

The location where the shooter was holed up is thought to be on top of Gearheads, an outdoor equipment store. A ladder can be seen propped against its wall in this image taken after the shooting

A close-up shows the ladder propped against the wall of the single-story Gearheads store. It has been suggested that this is where shooter Bobby Crimo opened fire from, although investigators have yet to confirm that this was the ladder he used

A close-up shows the ladder propped against the wall of the single-story Gearheads store. It has been suggested that this is where shooter Bobby Crimo opened fire from, although investigators have yet to confirm that this was the ladder he used

According to authorities, the violence began approximately 10:15 am local time, around 15 minutes after the parade began. 

Reports say that the gunman climbed an unsecured ladder that was attached to Gearhead Outfitters, an outdoor equipment store formerly known as Uncle Dan’s. 

At that point, Crimo opened fire on the crowd, killing six and injuring dozens more in including the elderly and children. It has not been confirmed for how long the shooting went on for.    

Witnesses have now told how they saw children being picked off in the crowd. 

The type of gun used by Crimo in the attack has not been confirmed. Investigators have so far only referred to it as a high-powered rifle.

A witness named Zoe described the scene saying: ‘All of a sudden everyone behind us started running. I looked back, probably 20 feet away from me, I saw a girl shot and killed. I saw her die. I’ve never seen anything like this,’ according to CNN

Police say they recovered a ‘rifle’ at the scene but witnesses described multiple rounds being fired in quick succession which they say could only have come from a semi-automatic. 

‘A rifle? No, no. It was an automatic weapon. It was pop, pop, pop – rifles don’t do that,’ she said. 

Law enforcement who were at the parade responded to the shooting but Crimo quickly fled the scene in a 2010 Honda Fit prompting a multi-agency manhunt.

2. FBI agents search Crimo’s $425,000 family home, which sits just six minutes drive from the location of the shooting  

The suspect lives in a small apartment behind his family's home in Highwood, Illinois

The suspect lives in a small apartment behind his family’s home in Highwood, Illinois

Crimo lives in a small apartment behind his family home along Pleasant Avenue in Highwood, just north of Highland Park. His uncle, Paul Crimo, told CNN that he saw his nephew at home the night before the shooting. 

It sits just 1.5 miles away from Gearhads, and is around six minutes drive away from the location of the shooting when traffic is light.  

The home is valued at over $400,000. Paul Crimo says that he lives in the home too. When he last saw the suspect, Paul Crimo says: ‘Everything was as normal’

He said that the home is owned by the suspect’s father, Bob Crimo. The FBI made contact with the family around 2:30 pm. Crimo’s father gave investigators permission to search the home.

Paul Crimo went on to tell CNN: ‘He’s a quiet kid. He’s usually on his own. He’s a lonely, quiet person. He keeps everything to himself.’

It’s not clear at what time he left the home to begin his rampage. 

3. A subsequent manhunt for Crimo ends with his dramatic roadside arrest just before 7:00 pm

Crimo's was arrested hours after the massacre in which six people were killed

Crimo’s was arrested hours after the massacre in which six people were killed

Robert Crimo, shown here, was also a rapper who went by the moniker: 'Awake the Rapper'

Robert Crimo, shown here, was also a rapper who went by the moniker: ‘Awake the Rapper’ 

The shooter’s uncle Paul Crimo said he was first contacted by the FBI at 2:30 pm local time, reports CNN.  

In an evening news conference around 5pm, law enforcement named Crimo as a suspect in the shooting. 

Crimo was described as being between 18 and 20 with long black hair, white, ‘slight build’ and wearing a t-shirt. His  car was described and cops gave out his license plate number.

Around 7:00 pm local time, authorities said in a brief news conference that Crimo was in custody, having been arrested around 30 minutes earlier. 

According to Chief Lou Jogmen of the Highland Park Police, Crimo was first spotted by members of a North Chicago police unit. Jogmen said that Crimo fled when officers attempted to pull him over. 

Following a brief chase, Crimo came to a stop and was arrested Lake Forest, Illinois, not far from the where the shooting occurred.  


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