FBI agents scrutinized the scene of crime under the magnifying glass Tuesday morning.
The perpetrator of the killing committed Tuesday in the suburbs of Chicago during a parade for the celebration of the #x27;American Independence planned its attack “for weeks” and disguised itself as a woman to better conceal itself in the crowd, local police said Tuesday.
The attack was carried out with an automatic weapon similar to an AR-15 that had been purchased legally, Lake County Sheriff's Office Deputy Chief Chris Covelli said in an early press briefing. #x27;afternoon. More than 70 bullets were fired by the killer.
Six people died and thirty others were injured when the alleged killer, Robert Crimo, opened the fire from the roof of a local business towards the crowd gathered in this considered peaceful northern suburb of Chicago for the traditional July 4th parade.
The 21-year-old man, who was arrested on Monday evening, remains in custody pending his court appearance, which is expected within the next few hours.
No cause. has yet been established for this killing, Mr. Covelli said. However, it appears that the man opened fire randomly on the crowd, without specifically targeting a religious or ethnic group.
According to Mr. Covelli, Robert Crimo was able to climb onto the roof of a business using an outdoor fire escape. After firing into the crowd, he left his gun behind and blended into the crowd. He mingled with people running around, almost as if he was an innocent bystander too, he described.
The feminine clothes he wore allowed him to hide his identity and the tattoos he wears on his face. It's possible he was wearing a wig, Covelli said, which may explain why the suspect's initial description mentioned long hair.
The abandoned weapon, entrusted to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), played a major role in tracking down the killer, according to the Lake County Sheriff's Deputy.
According to Mr. Covelli, Robert Crimo drove after the shooting to his mother's home, where he borrowed her vehicle. When officers finally intercepted him a few hours later, they found another rifle in the car.
Other weapons were later found in where Crimo lived. They were registered in his name and had also been purchased legally.
Deputy Chief Covelli declined to comment on Robert Crimo's level of cooperation with the investigation, which is ongoing. Police have yet to study videos he posted online and meet with people who know him.
Unemployed after giving up graduate school, Robert Crimo had published on YouTube under his stage name Awake the Rapper songs with a few thousand views and in which he reveals the violence that inhabits him.
The protagonist of one of these videos, now unavailable, shoots at people, in a cartoon style with rough features, before finding himself lying in a pool of blood, shot by the police . I just wanna scream/Fuck the world/I'm living my dream, he says there.
In another song, posted eight months ago according to the Chicago Tribune, he blurts out darkly: I just need to do this […] It's my destiny. Everything led me to this. Nothing can stop me, not even myself.
Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering told NBC that she knew him when he was a boy scout and mentored his group.
“He was just a little boy. […] And we wonder: what happened? How can someone get so mad, so hateful, to go after innocent people who were just having a day out with family?
— Nancy Rotering, Mayor of Highland Park
His uncle, Paul Crimo, with whom he lived in nearby Highwood, described him as a very low-key kid, a YouTube rapper who doesn't speak up, sits at his computer and hangs out with. had no interactions.
The nature of the relationship between Robert Crimo and his father Bob, a grocer who ran an unsuccessful 2019 election campaign to become mayor from Highland Park, was not immediately clear on Tuesday.
A recent estranged friend of his, Bennett Brizes, told the Washington Post that Robert Crimo was still apolitical. I don't know, man, he invariably replied when asked his opinion on world affairs.
However, he had posted a photo on his now blocked Twitter account showing him with a Trump flag around his shoulders, as well as an altered design of Pepe the Frog, a character that has become a rallying symbol for America's far-right.
In another clip he directed, chilling footage shows him alone in a classroom, decked out in a helmet and body armor, with ominously sardonic laughter in the background.
In another video, spotted by the Washington Post, he said he hated it when other people got more attention than (him). ) on the Internet
With information from Agence France-Presse