FBI: No connection between Highland Park mass shooting suspect and Rockford

·2 min read
Police search the downtown area of the Chicago suburb of Highland Park, Ill., after a mass shooting at a Fourth of July parade Monday, July 4, 2022.
Police search the downtown area of the Chicago suburb of Highland Park, Ill., after a mass shooting at a Fourth of July parade Monday, July 4, 2022.

ROCKFORD — One day after distributing a flier stating suspected Highland Park mass shooter Robert E. Crimo lll has ties to Rockford and two other northern Illinois communities, the FBI is reversing course.

A spokesperson at the FBI's Chicago field office issued a statement Tuesday saying "there is no reason to believe there's a connection between Crimo and Rockford, DeKalb and Elgin at this time."

The FBI official asked that her name not be made public.

Crimo, 21, is suspected of killing six people and wounding at least 30 others during an Independence Day parade Monday in Highland Park.

Related: The band struck up a joyous tune as they traveled in the parade. Then the shooting started.

He was taken into custody late Monday afternoon following a traffic stop by North Chicago police.

Prior to Crimo’s arrest, the FBI’s Chicago office distributed a flier stating “Crimo has ties to Rockford, DeKalb and Elgin, Illinois.”

The FBI official did not provide details as to what led to the organization reversing course.

“Our office wasn’t made aware of what those connections might be,” Winnebago County State’s Attorney J. Hanley said Tuesday. “It seems odd to me that that would have been put in a press release particularly when it wasn’t something obvious like he had a DUI or some crime from here. It leads all of us to speculate what is the connection?”

A search of Winnebago County court records for Crimo revealed no criminal adult court records.

“This guy has no arrest record in Winnebago County,” said Winnebago County Jail Superintendent Bob Redmond.

The Rockford police department did not immediately respond to whether the department has ever had contact with Crimo.

There is no record of any contact between Crimo and the DeKalb County sheriff’s office, according to deputy chief Jim Burgh.

“I double checked everything this morning and our detectives are here so I asked them if anyone had ever dealt with him on a case or something and they said they had no knowledge of him,” Burgh said. “So, I have no idea what that connection would be. They (FBI) never called us.”

Crimo was described as a longtime resident of Highland Park, a suburb about 30 miles north of Chicago.

He posted a series of online videos under the name “Awake the Rapper.”

Some of the videos connected to that name online feature violent imagery, including depictions of mass killings.

The YouTube account that hosted his videos was unavailable Tuesday morning.

Anyone with any information, or anyone with video, is urged to call Highland Park police at 847-432-7730 or you can submit a tip to fbi.gov/highlandpark.

Ken DeCoster: kdecoster@rrstar.com; @DeCosterKen

This article originally appeared on Rockford Register Star: Highland Park shooting: No connection between Robert Crimo, Rockford