The uncle of Robert “Bobby” Crimo III — the person of interest in Highland Park’s 4th of July parade mass shooting — said there were no signals that his 22-year-old nephew would carry out such carnage.
“There were no signs that I saw that would make him do this,” Paul Crimo told CNN in a Monday night interview after his nephew was taken into custody in connection to the shooting.
Robert Crimo was described as a recluse by his uncle and others who knew him, including neighbors and former classmates.
Police said at a press conference announcing the arrest it is believed Robert Crimo was responsible for the hail of bullets that rang out during the annual 4th of July parade.
But Paul Crimo said he’s never seen his nephew act violent or exhibit concerning behavior, according to CNN.
“I have nothing bad to say about him,” he told the outlet.
But he noted, “He’s a quiet kid. He’s usually on his own. He’s a lonely, quiet person. He keeps everything to himself.
He said he spends a lot of time on YouTube and didn’t think he had a job.
“I associate with him, but I don’t really like to engage with him. I say hi and then when I leave I say bye. That’s it,” he told CNN.
The uncle, who has known Robert since he was born and is brothers with his father Robert Crimo Jr., was interviewed by authorities Monday and told CNN his brother allowed police to search his home.
“We are good people here, and to have this is devastating,” Paul Crimo said. “I’m so heartbroken for all the families who lost their lives.”
A former classmate of Robert Crimo, Mark Heymann, 22, told NBC he couldn’t describe much about the suspected shooter except he was a rapper who released music while they were in school together at Highland Park High.
“He always seemed a little off, but I can’t describe it much beyond that,” Heymann said.
Crimo went by the moniker “Awake the Rapper” and posted numerous songs on Spotify. He also had a disturbing social media history, according to multiple reports.
A neighbor who spoke to The Daily Beast said Crimo would play loud heavy metal riding around with an electric bike, she said.
“We don’t really know him, but we see him riding around the neighborhood,” she told the outlet. “We never had any interaction with him, other than we just see him driving around.”
Both the uncle and neighbor said Crimo’s family had deep roots in the community. Robert Crimo Jr. unsuccessfully ran for Highland Park mayor in 2019.
In nearby Highwood where Crimo was thought to possibly live by authorities, another neighbor said he didn’t know Crimo but would see him ride an electric scooter most days, according to the Chicago Tribune.
“He was quiet,” Gio Montenegro, whose brother went to school with Crimo, told the newspaper. “Never said nothing. Just minded his business, put his loud music on his scooter.”