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Highland Park shooting person of interest left trail of violent footage online

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Robert “Bobby” E. Crimo III, the person of interest identified by police after Monday’s shooting in a Chicago suburb that left six people dead and 38 injured, left a long trail of tribute to mass shootings and public murders on social media platforms, according to numerous profiles that appear to be his.

Crimo acted as a rapper who went by the name “Awake”, whose recent music videos have featured images of mass murder.

Crimo’s most recent video on YouTube showed him in the aftermath of a school shooting. It ends with Crimo draping himself in an American flag. Another music video showed a cartoon image of a man wearing a shirt with his YouTube channel’s logo on it, holding a long gun and being shot by police.

The YouTube account that hosted his videos, which was previously open to the public, was down Monday night.

Crimo had his own Discord server, where fans and people who knew him could chat. The community had a political board full of nihilistic political memes. The most recent pre-shooting message, posted in March, was a photo of Budd Dwyer, Pennsylvania state treasurer who committed suicide on live television in the late 1980s, along with the caption: “I wish politicians still spoke gifts like this.”

Police are investigating outside the home of the mother of the man detained in the July 4, 2022 mass shooting at a parade in Highland Park, Illinois.Jim Vondruska / Getty Images

On Discord, fans shared posts Crimo had made of himself. An apparent selfie Crimo took in March reads: “Cursed image screenshot and sent to everyone or commit no more alive,” a reference to suicide.

After Monday’s shooting, 4chan trolls invaded the community and used it as a gathering place to praise the gunman and post memes about the attack. The Discord channel was shut down around 6 p.m. ET, just hours after Crimo was named as a person of interest.

Crimo also regularly posted on a bulletin board discussing graphic depictions of murder, suicide and death. His most recent message on that bulletin board came last week, when he posted a video of a beheading.

Crimo did not often post about major political figures on his websites, except for two posts about former President Donald Trump.

A video posted to Crimo’s YouTube page on Jan. 2, 2021, appears to show Crimo among a crowd of protesters cheering Trump’s presidential motorcade outside an airport. Crimo turns the phone over and reveals his face at the end of the video.

Crimo is also seen draped in a Trump flag in a June 27, 2021 post on Twitter. The message has only the word “spam” as its caption.

Mark Heymann, 22, who said he went to Highland Park High School with Crimo, said Crimo was a rapper who released music when they were in school together.

Heymann said he doesn’t remember much about Crimo. “He always seemed a little weird, but I can’t describe it beyond that,” he said.

Crimo’s father, who… reportedly owned by convenience storesstaged a failed run for mayor of Highland Park in 2019.

This is a story in development. Come back for updates.

Dennis RomeroRima AbdelkaderSarah Kaufman and Maya Brown contributed

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