Live updates on the parade shooting: Suspect charged with 7 counts of murder

The family of the 21-year-old identified as the gunman who shot at a crowd held on July 4 in Highland Park, Illinois, appeared to have deep roots in the community. His father introduced himself to the mayor; his grandfather was born in the city and was buried in a cemetery 13 miles outside the city.

But there were signs of problems in the family.

In April 2019, someone who knew Robert E. Crimo III, the man identified as the gunman, called police to tell him the teen had attempted suicide, police said.

Four months later, a relative contacted authorities and reported that Mr. Crimo had threatened to “kill everyone.” Police officers removed 16 knives, a dagger and a sword from the house, but there was no probable cause to arrest him at the time, Deputy Chief Christopher Covelli of the county sheriff’s office told reporters Tuesday of Lake.

When a portrait of Mr. Crime, authorities said they were watching videos he had posted on social media, some of which showed disturbing drawings of mass shootings.

“We’ll look at them and see what they reveal,” Chief Covelli said.

Mr. Crimo’s grandfather, Robert Crimo, who died in 2018, was born in the city in 1929, according to his obituary. When her son, who owns a delicatessen, ran for mayor against current mayor Nancy Rotering, she said she wanted to improve local ordinances to help downtown businesses thrive.

“Highland Park is my home and always will be,” wrote Robert Crimo Jr. in an election questionnaire published in a local publication.

Ms. Rotering, who has been mayor of the city for 12 years, described the 2019 contest as a “good” race with no nasty campaigns. He won re-election with more than 73 percent of the vote, according to the Lake County secretary’s office.

The Crimos ’long-standing connection to the city is typical of many residents in Highland Park, a community made up of many intergenerational families. Mrs. Rotering said she met Robert Crimo III when he was about 6 years old and a Cub Scout in a troop she led.

At the time, there was nothing extraordinary about Mr. Crimo, who as a child learned to make fire and camp in the woods like the other Cub Scouts, he said.

“He was just a little kid,” Ms. Rotering said.

He didn’t go to college, but spent time on social media as an aspiring artist and rapper on YouTube, according to his uncle, Paul Crimo, who spoke to a local TV station, FOX 32.

The music videos of Mr. Crime seem to refer to mass shootings. A video includes cartoon footage of a gunman pointing a large rifle and other figures gushing blood. Later in the video, the gunman is inside a pool of blood near police cars.

Another video shows Mr. Crime with a newspaper displayed on the wall behind him with a headline about the assassination of Lee Harvey Oswald, who assassinated President Kennedy in 1963. Mr. Crimo, who identified himself as “Wake the rapper,” is sitting on a bed in front of the newspaper. The word “Awake” was tattooed on his left eyebrow.

Investigators are reviewing videos made by Mr. Crime and “will be part of the investigation,” Chief Covelli said.

Paul Crimo said he shared a family home with Mr. Crime younger and who had talked to him on Sunday evening. “I didn’t see any signs of trouble. And if I had seen signs, I would have said something,” he said in the interview on FOX 32. “I’m deeply broken and I’ll be heartbroken the rest of my life.”

Authorities said Mr. Crimo had acquired five firearms after the knives were confiscated in his home, including two AR-style rifles, some pistols and possibly a shotgun. But the uncle said he did not know where Mr. Crimo might have acquired the weapon used in the shooting and that he did not know if Mr. Crimo had any mental health problems.

Mr. Crimo was a “very quiet boy,” the uncle said. “It simply came to our notice then. He just sits at the computer. There is no interaction between him and me. “

Nicolas Lopez and Andres Lopez went to high school and high school with Mr. Crime in Highland Park. Credit … Jamie Kelter Davis for The New York Times

Jeremy Cahnmann, who led an extracurricular sports program at Lincoln Elementary School about a decade ago, said what stood out to him was that Mr. Crimo and his brother often waited until the end of the day.

“When the show ended at 4:30, everyone else had their parents or grandparents or caregivers pick them up and take them home. And the last children expected there every day were the Crimo children, “he said.

He said school teachers talked about how Mr. Crime was hard to come by. “It was a common fact,” he said. “If they needed to get someone to that house, they just couldn’t.”

Mr. Crimo, who was about 10 years old at the time and was called “Bobby,” was “normal,” he said. “He was calm, he wasn’t disturbing and he wasn’t necessarily a problem more than another 10-year-old.”

Nicolas and Andrés López, brothers who later went to Highland Park High School with Mr. Crime, they said they used to be friends with him.

“There was a group of five people, we used to skateboard in Highland Park and Highwood,” Nicolas Lopez said. “We would smoke and do high school stuff.”

At one point, Mr. Crimo dropped out of high school, but the siblings said there was nothing during the time they were friends to suggest a problem.

“He was always calm and reserved, but nice,” said 23-year-old Andres Lopez. “He wasn’t a quiet kid who was dark back then. He was quiet because he was a nerd. He wasn’t sinister.”

In 2017, the Lopez’s older brother, Anthony LaPorte, died of a heroin overdose.

Mr. Crimo spoke at the funeral, the brothers recalled.

“He was very upset, saying my brother was one of his only friends,” Nicolas Lopez said.

He said he believed a woman who was dating Mr. Crimo also broke up with him at the same time.

“That’s when he started acting weird,” Andres Lopez said. “He was lonely.”

Alfredo Balbuena, 22, said he knew Mr. Crimo of Highland Park High School and described him as “a quiet, lonely boy” who often dresses in black.

“He stayed by himself,” Mr. Balbuena said. “He wore black band clothes, emotional stuff and had a lot of tattoos.”

Michael Levenson contributed to the report.

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