Robert Crimo, the 21-year-old man who opened fire and killed multiple people during the Fourth of July parade in Highland Park, Illinois, posted anti-Asian and anti-Black sentiments days before the incident.
During the investigation, authorities unearthed some of Crimo’s past online activity, including his posts on Documenting Reality, a forum where members share graphic images and videos of death and gore.
Posting under the moniker “Awake47,” on June 28, Crimo wrote, “I say we just get rid of the blacks altogether.” Crimo made another post on July 2, writing, “Orientals should be gassed then washed.”
“I see. ole sparky. If I remember right some states have reinstated gas chambers as a way to do. I like that,” Crimo wrote.
Crimo also made an anti-Semitic post on June 25, writing, “The math is all scewed [sic]. The logistics of 6m Jews doesn’t make sense but I’m just ret*rded.”
Speaking to the New York Post, Documenting Reality founder and site moderator Chris Wilson said he is cooperating with the authorities during their investigation into Crimo.
“This is not something we’ve ever had to deal with. He was a member of the site as well as other sites,” Wilson said. “I think what happened is horrendous and I am cooperating fully with law enforcement officials.”
Authorities have also discovered alarming content from Crimo’s past online activity, including sharing a picture of Budd Dwyer, a politician who killed himself during a live press conference, and pictures of his “teenage” sex doll named Sophie.
“I don’t understand why. Sophie July 1, 2020 – July 22, 2020,” Crimo wrote in a post titled “Sophie Killed Herself” that accompanied a picture of the sex doll, portraying a mock suicide by hanging in his closet.
“It was pretty clear that this suspect had a history online of glorifying and fantasizing about violence, and to me that sends a red flag on top of a red flag,” Jared Holt, a fellow at the Atlantic Council who researches domestic extremism, told National Public Radio.
Investigators also uncovered a now-deactivated YouTube channel belonging to Crimo and a Spotify account where he posted his own rap music under the name Awake The Rapper.
Crimo opened fire with a “high-powered rifle” at a large crowd full of the elderly and children enjoying the parade at Highland Park on Monday, killing seven people and injuring more than two dozen people.
At a news conference on Tuesday, Lake County State’s Attorney Eric Rinehart announced Crimo had been charged with seven counts of first-degree murder, which could lead to a mandatory life sentence.
“We have to do more to keep our communities safe,” Duckworth, a decorated Iraq War veteran, said. “We have to get rid of assault weapons, high capacity magazines and so many other additional common-sense reforms that majorities of Americans are crying out for.”