Independence Day shooter escaped in drag – police
The 21-year-old man who opened fire on a 4th of July parade in Highland Park, Illinois, killing seven and injuring 30 more, managed to escape by disguising himself in women’s clothing, police have revealed.
“[Suspect Robert ‘Bobby’] Crimo was dressed in women’s clothing and investigators do believe he did this to conceal his facial tattoos and his identity,” Lake County Major Crime Task Force spokesman Christopher Covelli told reporters on Tuesday.
Crimo allegedly used a ladder to climb onto a roof along the parade route and squeezed off 70 rounds into the crowd marching down the street before discarding the gun atop the building in order to avoid suspicion, according to authorities. His disguise, captured on video camera, may have included a wig, according to Covelli.
The accused gunman, who had apparently spent weeks planning the attack, fled to his mother’s house and took her car, eluding police for several hours before he was apprehended just five miles from the scene of the crime. The car reportedly contained another gun, while his apartment in the neighboring town of Highwood held more firearms, described as “potentially pistols.” The weapons were reportedly legally purchased.
Six of Crimo’s victims died on Monday, with a seventh succumbing to their wounds on Tuesday, according to authorities. No motive for the crime has yet surfaced, though police have reportedly been “in discussions” with Crimo following his arrest.
Described as a “rapper, singer, songwriter, actor, and director” on his IMDB page, Crimo performed under the name Awake the Rapper. Many of his videos, which have since been removed from YouTube, reportedly included violent imagery and references to school shootings, though relatives claim he showed no signs of violence.
Gun control proponents have held up the attack as proof that the US needs stricter gun laws, despite a sweeping package of reforms having just been signed into law by President Joe Biden last month. The new law requires an examination of young gun buyers’ juvenile mental health records, prevents anyone convicted of domestic violence from legally obtaining a firearm for five years, and provides funding for so-called “red flag” laws that allow authorities to confiscate guns from people deemed a threat to themselves or others.
In the wake of a recent spike in mass shootings, some states have gone even further with their restrictions on gun ownership. New York last month passed a law requiring those seeking gun permits to submit their social media accounts for vetting, along with multiple “character references.”