The young man suspected of killing six people and injuring dozens during a July 4 parade uploaded a video showing the scene of the attack before the mass shooting.

Robert E Crimo III, 22, was arrested by police hours after shots were fired into the crowd during celebrations in the Chicago suburb of Highland Park.

Image:
An aerial view of the parade route after the mass shooting

Accounts that appear to belong to Crimo have uploaded a number of violent and eerie videos, including crudely drawn animations of a violent gunfight.

A screenshot of rough animation in one of Crimo's clips.  It shows him in a pool of blood after being shot by police
Image:
This drawing features in one of Crimo’s music videos. It shows him in a pool of blood after being shot by police

Shooting scene

The video showing Central Avenue, where the shooting took place, was filmed almost a year before the attack.

It appears to have been filmed early in the morning and shows the street empty except for American flags waving in the wind.

The street where the shooting took place was filmed and posted online by Carrio before the attack.  This crossing is less than 500 feet from where the attack would have started firing from
Image:
The street where the shooting took place was filmed and posted online by Crimo before the attack. This crossing is less than 500 feet from where the attacker allegedly started shooting

Crimo edited him in a longer video that shows him smoking while staring at a half-mast American flag above a memorial.

In the video, he wears a transparent backpack. These bags have been adopted by some American schools in an effort to combat school shootings because they make it more difficult to conceal a firearm.

Crimo poses while gazing at a half-mast American flag, usually a mark of respect for those who have died
Image:
Crimo poses while gazing at a half-mast American flag, usually a mark of respect for those who have died

The song Spirit in the Sky accompanies the video and begins with the lyrics “When I die and they rest me / I’ll go to the place that’s best.”

“My deeds will be valiant”

A second video, uploaded in October last year, combines several of his videos into one.

It is widely referred to as a possible video manifesto by those analyzing his online journey, as it includes a recorded audio message from him.

In the rambling voiceover, he says, “Like a sleepwalker, I pierce…my deeds will be valiant and my thought is useless. I know what I must do.”

In the background, a newspaper clipping on the wall marks the death of Lee Harvey Oswald, the man who shot US President John F Kennedy in 1963.

Crimo filmed a video with a newspaper showing the death of Lee Harvey Oswold
Image:
Crimo filmed a video with a newspaper showing the death of Lee Harvey Oswald

Oswald notoriously fired from above at the passing presidential parade while hiding on the sixth floor of a building. Similarly, the person who carried out the mass shooting in Chicago allegedly fired from the roof of a building into the parade.

Crimo’s reference to the former president’s killer seems to be part of a larger interest in presidents and patriotism.

Carrio appears to have waited to see then-President Donald Trump quit Air Force One
Image:
Crimo seems to have waited to see Donald Trump leave Air Force One when he was president

He uploaded a video of himself in 2020 waiting for Donald Trump to land in Air Force One and captured the moment the then-president passed by as part of a motorcade. There’s also a photo of him draped in a Trump flag and attending a rally for the former president.

Crimo is draped in a Donald Trump flag
Image:
Crimo is draped in a Trump flag

American flags feature in a number of his archived videos. Crimo is an aspiring rapper and in one of his music videos he holds an American flag behind him after alluding to school shootings.

Robert Crimo poses in tactical gear in front of an American flag in one of his music videos
Image:
Crimo poses in tactical gear in front of an American flag in one of his music videos

Another video uploaded in 2020 refers to “enemies in the United States”.

In it, Crimo films himself staring in close-up at the camera during a remix of people talking and music.

At the end, it suddenly flashes repeatedly as the recording asks “as you see, who and what are the enemies of freedom in the United States?”

“Robert Crimo Archives”

This content uploaded by Crimo was easily found, despite social media platforms taking swift action to delete its accounts.

It seems to have deliberately created an archive of content that would be easy to find with basic internet search skills.

Crimo used the stage name Awake. He created several accounts under his different names and created at least two blogs that indexed his content.

A specific YouTube account under a third name was also created. The videos posted on this channel were dated and bear the label “Robert Crimo archive”.

Crimo neatly tagged videos as part of an archive made using one of these secondary accounts
Image:
Crimo has carefully tagged videos as part of an archive made using one of its subaccounts

He also created backups of his content by duplicating many of his videos and photos on different platforms and accounts.

Some of the content includes jokes, some of which appear to have been designed to taunt or mislead those looking for answers.

At the end of an uneventful 18-minute long video of him building a cabin next to his family home, he says “Goodbye, Mr. FBI Agent.”

Crimo’s motive for building up his archive is unknown.


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