New details from former friends and parents have now revealed how 21-year-old Bobby Crimo, had attempted suicide multiple times in 2016 and 2017 and had threatened to overdose because he was a loner whose relatives didn’t care for.
On July 4, 2022, Crimo carried out a mass shooting during an Independence Day parade in Highland Park, Illinois, United States. The shooting occurred at 10:14 a.m roughly 15 minutes after the parade had started. Seven people died, and 46 others were wounded by gunfire or injured in the ensuing panic. Crimo was arrested and charged to court.
People who knew Crimo in the past have now revealed that he was a lonely child who experienced a ‘downward spiral,’ had attempted suicide and talked about overdosing.
A mother of two of Crimo’s skatepark friends, who asked to remain anonymous, said the 21-year-old used to come to her home often in 2016 and 2017.
She also said Crimo had threatened and attempted to kill himself a few times while he was hanging out with her kids and that he struggled with self-harm and suicidal thoughts as early as 2016.
She described the then-boy as polite and quiet and would have ‘never guessed that he would hurt a fly.’
‘Hurt himself? Yes. But hurt someone else? No,’ the mom told the Daily Beast. ‘He was a sweet kid, but he hurt. He was very, very much a loner and depressed. And I think his emotional instability was kind of brushed under the rug by his family.’
Another friend of Crimo reportedly messaged his father on Facebook in 2015 after he said ‘some concerning things’ about overdosing, she told the Beast. She also said Crimo Senior had blocked her on Facebook.
Crimo posted several music videos under the alias Awake the Rapper. One of his videos, show a depiction of a shooting being gunned down police. Another showed him inside a classroom, draped in the American flag, and wearing tactical gear.
He also reportedly had a Discord channel, which has since been disabled, where he posted a beheading video and reportedly interacted with a devoted to death message board, according to NBC New York.
Crimo’s parents’ attorney George Gomez told the Beast he was ‘not aware’ of ‘anything like that happening in 2016.’ He also said they ‘didn’t follow’ their son on social media and did not know that he was a rapper..
Now, the anonymous mother is wondering how Crimo’s parents were able to say there was nothing wrong with their child, as she said there were many warning signs.
‘I thought it was a joke when his uncle came out and said: “There were no signs of this. He was always this quiet kid, working in his apartment and behind the house.” When it was like he had tried killing himself twice when he was hanging out with my [children], so how could you say there was no signs of this?’
Crimo’s father even sponsored a gun permit application, despite the 2019 police reports indicating he had tried to kill himself and in a separate occasion, threatened to kill his family. Gomez said the father had arrived home after police had arrived in 2019.
‘I think there’s a lot of balls dropped, no matter which way you look at it, the mother said. ‘Parents, the government itself. I mean, if what they are saying is true on the report that happened back in 2019, why would his father sponsor him to legally purchase these guns?’
Weeks later, another mutual friend would go over to Crimo’s house and voice concern as well, the friend told the Daily Beast.
‘He felt a lot of times that his parents didn’t care about him,’ the friend told the Beast.
‘From what it sounded like, his parents worked a lot,’ the friend told the outlet. ‘If they weren’t home, they were working, and when they were home, they were resting or sleeping. So Bobby was always out doing his own thing.
‘He felt alone and misunderstood. He said a couple of times he wished he was like other kids. He was, but he didn’t think so,’ they said.
An April 2019 police report, obtained by the Daily Beast, showed police had performed a welfare check on Crimo and had reported he had attempted to ‘commit suicide by machete’ and was ‘known to use marijuana.’
In September 2019, police turned up again to the Highland Park residence and a police report allegedly stated he had threatened to kill his whole family.
Police confiscated 16 knives, a 12-inch dagger and a 24-inch samurai sword during the wellness check, according to the report, but returned them to Crimo’s father, who claimed they were his, which is one of the reasons why, police officers said, the young shooter passed the Red Flag law, a law which stops people flagged by police from buying guns.
Even though, as the documents show, Crimo was deemed a ‘clear and present danger,’ who, ‘if granted access to a firearm or firearm ammunition poses an actual, imminent threat of substantial bodily harm to themselves or another person[s] that is articulable and significant or who will likely act in a manner dangerous to the public interest.’
Police also reportedly filed a ‘clear and present danger’ foam with the Illinois State Police. State police would later determine that Crimo did not meet the criteria to be considered a danger.
Despite the incident, Crimo’s father helped him apply for a firearm owner identification card (FOID) mere weeks later, and Crimo passed four Illinois background checks to purchase the gun he would go on to murder seven people with three years later.
Crimo’s attorney, Steve Greenberg, told Fox 32 that the process was ‘no different than signing up your kid for driver’s ed.’
‘He bought everything on his own, and they’re registered to him,’ the elder Crimo told the New York Post. ‘You know, he drove there, he ordered them, he picked them up, they did his background check on each one.’
Another parent Michele Rebollar – whose late son was friends with Crimo also made similar statements.
‘There’s no justification, he could have got help, he could have told somebody, but if you’ve never had somebody to tell, how do you even know who to tell, if no one’s ever been there for you?’ she told the Beast.
She also said Crimo had spoken at her son’s funeral and he no longer resembles the little kid who said her son had made him feel ‘like I wasn’t alone anymore, like I had somebody there, like, that was actually there.’
Other court documents suggested that Crimo’s parents weren’t always thinking of his well-being, as one document said his mother had left her small son in a hot car for 27 minutes as a toddler. His mother was later convicted over the incident.
The disturbing 2002 incident was one of multiple brushes with the law Crimo’s mom Denise Pesina and dad Bob Crimo Jr had with police prior to Monday’s massacre in Chicago that killed seven.
The number of people who have died in the Highland Park Fourth of July massacre has risen to seven, as of Friday, July 8.
The victims include Stephen Straus, 88; Katherine Goldstein, 64; Jacki Sundheim, 63; Nicholas Toledo Zaragoza, 78; Eduardo Uvaldo, 69, and husband and wife, Irina and Kevin McCarthy, 35 and 37.
Robert Crimo, has been charged with seven counts of first-degree murder.