Robert E Crimo III: who is Highland Park Chicago shooting suspect Awake the rapper, and who were the victims?

The latest news from the mass shooting in Chicago, Illinois - which has left at least six dead

Reports indicate at least five people were killed and 19 injured in the mass shooting (Photo: Jim Vondruska/Getty Images)Reports indicate at least five people were killed and 19 injured in the mass shooting (Photo: Jim Vondruska/Getty Images)
Reports indicate at least five people were killed and 19 injured in the mass shooting (Photo: Jim Vondruska/Getty Images)

The gunman accused of attacking an Independence Day parade in suburban Chicago has been charged with seven counts of first-degree murder, a prosecutor said.

Lake County State’s attorney Eric Rinehart promised that dozens more charges would be sought. He added that the suspect, if convicted of murder, would receive a mandatory life sentence without the possibility of parole.

A gunman on a rooftop opened fire on an Independence Day parade in a suburb of Chicago, leaving at least seven people dead and 30 injured as hundreds of marchers, parents pushing strollers and kids riding bikes fled in fear.

Following the incident, the suspect evaded capture for several hours while police surrounded a house that had been named as his possible residence.

Here is everything you need to know.

What happened?

Around 10.15am, when the march was about 75% complete, the shooter started firing, according to authorities.

Chris O’Neill, the incident commander for Highland Park Police, said the shooter appeared to have fired shots from atop a commercial building while using a "high-powered rifle" and was “very difficult to see”.

 (Photo: Jim Vondruska/Getty Images) (Photo: Jim Vondruska/Getty Images)
(Photo: Jim Vondruska/Getty Images)

Approximately 30,000 people live in the close-knit community of Highland Park, which is situated on the shores of Lake Michigan just north of Chicago.

The area is home to opulent lakeside estates and mansions that have long attracted the rich and famous, including NBA legend Michael Jordan, who resided in Highland Park for many years while he was a member of the Chicago Bulls.

Hundreds of parade attendees - some clearly bleeding - fled after being hit by dozens of gunshots.

They left behind abandoned objects that revealed how abruptly and violently daily life had been disrupted: a child’s Chicago Cubs cap, a box of chocolate cookies that was spilt on the grass, and a bag of potato chips that had been partially consumed.

Who were the victims?

According to Christopher Covelli, spokesman for the Lake County Major Crime Task Force, “several of the deceased victims” perished at the scene, and one was transferred to a hospital and died there.

The victims’ or injured’s identities have not been made public by the police.

Five people killed at the parade were adults according to Lake County Coroner Jennifer Banek, who did not have information on a sixth victim who was taken to a hospital and died there.

The day after the shooting, authorities reported the death of a seventh person.

According to Roberto Velasco, Mexico’s director for North American affairs, one of those killed was a Mexican citizen. He said that two more Mexicans had been wounded.

One of those who died has been named as Nicolas Toledo, a man in his late 70s, who came from Mexico to visit his family and had been with them for a few weeks.

Another person killed in the shooting was Jacki Sundheim, a teacher at a Highland Park synagogue. The North Shore Congregation Israel confirmed her death in a message to congregants.

26 people were seen at NorthShore University Health Centre following the assault. According to Dr. Brigham Temple, the medical director of emergency preparedness, all but one had suffered gunshot wounds.

They ranged in age from eight to 85, and Dr. Temple said four or five of them were children.

Who is the suspect?

The man who was detained after the shooting spree at the Chicago Fourth of July parade has been identified as Awake The Rapper, a verified Spotify artist.

The most recent album and EP by Awake (real name: Robert E Crimo III), which is available on the major streaming service, was released earlier this year.

By the time authorities announced his identity, Crimo’s Facebook and Instagram sites had already been deleted. His YouTube channel was later also deleted.

After Crimo’s channels were shut down, a few of his videos were reuploaded and are still accessible online.

Stick-figure animation depicting a man brandishing a gun and later dying in a pool of blood after presumably being shot by police can be seen in the music video for his song, ‘Toy Soldier’.

In another video, he performs rap songs while surrounded by sounds of gunfire and manic laughter in a setting that resembles a small classroom.

‘By the Pond’, his most played song, has received over two million plays.

Crimo also had his own Discord server, where friends and people who knew him could interact, and the online community had a political message board.

An image of Budd Dwyer, the Pennsylvania state treasurer who died by suicide after shooting himself on live television in the late 1980s, was posted in March with the statement, "I wish politicians still gave speeches like this."

Crimo also frequently commented in a forum where people discussed violent depictions of homicide, suicide, and death. Last Monday (27 June), he made his most recent posting to that message board, uploading a video of a beheading.

Crimo didn't typically write about influential political people on his blogs, with the exception of two postings regarding former President Donald Trump.

Additionally, Crimo has a page on IMDb where his credits include writing, directing, producing, composing, and acting in two music videos.