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Highland Park gunman posted eerie gaming videos that showed him shooting at people from rooftops

Robert Crimo III, 21, has been charged with seven counts of first-degree murder after shooting at a crowd who gathered for a Fourth of July parade on Monday

The Highland Park gunman who killed seven people at a July 4 parade previously posted gaming videos online where he shot at people from rooftops. 

The eerie videos show 21-year-old Robert Crimo’s gaming avatar standing on rooftops and shooting down his opponents in a game of Call of Duty. 

This came before Crimo himself stood on a rooftop disguised in women’s clothing and opened fire ‘sniper-style’ at the crowd during the Independence Day parade in Highland Park, Illinois.

Crimo killed seven people with his Smith & Wesson rifle and has been charged with seven counts of first-degree murder with dozens more charges expected.

In the video game posts, gun shots can be heard ringing out while players are heard laughing, yelling and directing one another. It’s unclear which voice is Crimo’s. 

Violent video games like Call of Duty have often been cited as the motivation for real-life shootings by the NRA and gun lobbyists.

But several studies have found there is no evidence that these games are fueling mass shootings and instead point to America’s lax gun laws. 

DailyMail.com has uncovered gaming videos Crimo posted where his avatar stood on rooftops and shot down his opponents

DailyMail.com has uncovered gaming videos Crimo posted where his avatar stood on rooftops and shot down his opponents

On Monday, Crimo stood on a rooftop armed with a Smith & Wesson rifle and killed seven people, firing 83 rounds in total

On Monday, Crimo stood on a rooftop armed with a Smith & Wesson rifle and killed seven people, firing 83 rounds in total

In the gaming videos, gun shots can be heard ringing out while players are heard laughing, yelling and directing one another

In the gaming videos, gun shots can be heard ringing out while players are heard laughing, yelling and directing one another

Violent video games like Call of Duty have often been cited as the motivation for real-life shootings by the NRA and gun lobbyists

Violent video games like Call of Duty have often been cited as the motivation for real-life shootings by the NRA and gun lobbyists

NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre previously blamed the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, on the shooter’s obsession with violent games. NRA president Oliver North also blamed the games for the 2018 mass shooting in Sante Fe, Texas that killed 10.  

Study finds violent video games are NOT linked to mass shootings 

A London-based study published last year looked at how adolescent boys’ behavior is affected by the release of new violent video games in the US.

The research was been led by Dr. Agne Suziedelyte, senior lecturer in the Department of Economics at City, University of London. 

Dr. Suziedelyte examined the effects of violent video games on two types of violence – aggression against other people and destruction of property and things.

The study focused on boys in the US aged between eight and 18 years – the group most likely to play violent video games.

Dr. Suziedelyte used econometric methods that identify plausibly causal effects of violent video games on violence, rather than only associations. 

She found no evidence that violence against other people increases after a new violent video game is released. 

Parents reported, however, that children were more likely to destroy things after playing violent video games. 

‘Taken together, these results suggest that violent video games may agitate children, but this agitation does not translate into violence against other people – which is the type of violence which we care about most,’ Dr. Suziedelyte said. 

‘A likely explanation for my results is that video game playing usually takes place at home, where opportunities to engage in violence are lower.’

Former President Donald Trump repeatedly stated his theory that gaming violence leads to real-life violence after the El Paso shooting in 2019 which killed 23 people.

In response, Strauss Zelnick, CEO of Take-Two Interactive, the gaming company behind Grand Theft Auto, said blaming video games for mass shootings is disrespectful to victims’ families, calling gun violence ‘uniquely American’ but said ‘entertainment is consumed world-wide.’

A London-based study published last year looked at how adolescent boys’ behavior is affected by the release of new violent video games in the US. 

The study author Dr. Agne Suziedelyte concluded that policies intended to place restrictions on video game sales to minors – as attempted by several states – are unlikely to reduce violence. 

Dr. Suziedelyte pointed out that sales of video games in the US have been increasing since the 1990s, whereas violent crime rates have been decreasing during the same period.

Another video posted by the shooter show him panning down Central Avenue – the location of the parade where he carried out the shooting. 

The video is titled, ‘Where is everyone?’  

On Wednesday, Crimo appeared in court to be charged with multiple counts of murder, as prosecutors shared more details of his deadly rampage. 

Crimo spoke softly to tell the court that he did not have a lawyer, and to ask for a public defender. He was dressed in all-black, wore his long dark hair draped over one eye and shifted on his feet as he appeared via Zoom from a room in the Lake County Jail. 

He was denied bond by Judge Theodore S. Potkonjak, and will remain in custody until his next court date on July 25. 

Crimo fired 83 rounds in total, reloading his weapon twice before fleein gthe roof of the building along the parade route. 

Police tracked him down by tracing the serial number of the gun to his home.  He dropped the weapon while running away from the parade. 

Once in custody, he made a full confession and told cops he ‘looked down, aimed and fired’ into the crowd.  

Family members and classmates have described Crimo as a quiet loner who kept to himself. 

Paul Crimo, the suspect’s uncle, told how Crimo was behaving normally on Sunday night. He claims he showed ‘no signs of violence’ – despite YouTube rap videos in which he glamorized school shootings. The shooter’s motive for the attack remains unknown. 

‘I’m heartbroken. I’m so heartbroken. There were no signs that I saw that would make him do this. He’s a quiet kid. He’s usually on his own. He’s a lonely, quiet person. He keeps everything to himself,’ the uncle told CNN. 

In the same interview, Paul Crimo confirmed that his nephew lived in a small apartment behind his parents’ house. 

‘Everything was as normal,’ he said. ‘We are good people here, and to have this is devastating. I’m so heartbroken for all the families who lost their lives.’

Crimo, 21, is expressionless in the photos that emerged on Wednesday morning. He is wearing a black t-shirt with his dark hair draped over one of his eyes. His cheek and neck tattoos are on full display.

Crimo is due in court this morning charged with seven counts of murder, but prosecutors say they intend to file more charges

Crimo, 21, is expressionless in the photos that emerged on Wednesday morning. He is wearing a black t-shirt with his dark hair draped over one of his eyes. His cheek and neck tattoos are on full display

In another video, Crimo posts what appears to be an early morning shot of Central Avenue in Highland Park where the July fourth shooting took place

In another video, Crimo posts what appears to be an early morning shot of Central Avenue in Highland Park where the July fourth shooting took place

Crimo said he dressed up 'like a girl' and used make-up to cover his face and neck tattoos

Crimo said he dressed up ‘like a girl’ and used make-up to cover his face and neck tattoos 

Crimo used a legally purchased Smith & Wesson M&P 15 to carry out the attack. He bought the weapon - which costs around $800 - in 2020

Crimo used a legally purchased Smith & Wesson M&P 15 to carry out the attack. He bought the weapon – which costs around $800 – in 2020

The gunman opened fire at 10.14am on Monday, barely 15 minutes into the parade. He then fled the scene and hid throughout the day before eventually being arrested at 6.30pm in Lake Forrest, eight miles north of where the massacre unfolded

The gunman opened fire at 10.14am on Monday, barely 15 minutes into the parade. He then fled the scene and hid throughout the day before eventually being arrested at 6.30pm in Lake Forrest, eight miles north of where the massacre unfolded 

A former classmate’s of Crimo, named only as Mackenzie, told said he hung around with trouble makers. 

She said: ‘They wanted to be the ‘anti-‘ group, like the rebels. The aura they presented was opposite, negative and harsh.’

Mackenzie added: ‘Whenever I heard him speak, it was very lifeless and negative. He’s always been down and not enthusiastic.’ 

A friend said that by the time Crimo got to high school: ‘He was always by himself. No one seemed to try to be his friend.’ 

Crimo dropped out of high school in 2017. Prior to this, he plastered ‘Awake’ stickers around the school. 

A former friend named Molly Handelman said that she was ‘not shocked’ when she learned that Crimo was a suspect in the shooting. 

Handelman said, ‘When he did talk, he was very soft. He didn’t seem aggressive ever, at all.’ 

She continued: ‘He made it very clear he didn’t care about school. His friends got into trouble pretty often in school. He stayed pretty reserved and quiet, so it seemed pretty interesting how he was very quiet but his friends were very rebellious.’ 

Crimo posted videos online of him building his own home and painting a soldier on the wall of his parents' backyard

Crimo posted videos online of him building his own home and painting a soldier on the wall of his parents’ backyard 

Crimo archived a livestream of him building the small shed where he lived at the time of the shooting. The shed is located beside his parents home along Pleasant Avenue in Highwood, Illinois, just north of where the shooting took place

Crimo archived a livestream of him building the small shed where he lived at the time of the shooting. The shed is located beside his parents home along Pleasant Avenue in Highwood, Illinois, just north of where the shooting took place

Crimo's car is emblazoned with the number 47 which is ubiquitous around his social media

Crimo’s car is emblazoned with the number 47 which is ubiquitous around his social media 

Crimo's car comes equipped with a decal that reads: 'P***y Magnet'

Crimo’s car comes equipped with a decal that reads: ‘P***y Magnet’

Video games make you less empathetic, study finds 

In a 2018 study, researchers looked at the three games participants played the most, and noted if they were of a violent nature (such as shooting game Call of Duty) or non-violent (such as Fifa).

They tracked the brainwaves of participants using electroencephalography (EEG).

At the same time they completed a ‘stop-signal task’ which contained male and female faces looking either happy or scared.

The study found gaming was linked to lower empathy and emotional callousness.

Researchers believe this is because it inhibits people’s ability to process emotional facial expression and control their responses as a result. 

DailyMail.com discovered several videos Crimo posted online, including one of him building his own home and painting a soldier on the wall of his parents’ backyard. 

Crimo went by the moniker Awake the Rapper. 

The suspect archived a livestream of him building the small shed where he lived at the time of the shooting. The shed is located beside his parents home along Pleasant Avenue in Highwood, Illinois, just north of where the shooting took place. 

Crimo begins the video by asking his followers: ‘What’s up communists?’ He tells viewers that he is building a ‘cabin in the city,’ a reference to the shed. 

From there, Crimo takes the camera to show off his car that he refers to as the ‘P***y Magnet.’ The car, which has the number 47 emblazoned on the side, also has a sticker across the rear window reading: ‘P***y Magnet.’

It is unclear if that 47 is a reference to the date of the massacre – with Crimo also recently posting a stream of 47s on a now-deactivated Twitter account. 

Despite being a rapper, Crimo is shown listening to classic rock throughout the video as AC/DC, Blue Oyster Cult and Creedence Clearwater Revival’s anti war anthem ‘Fortunate Son’ can be heard. 

During an interaction with live commenters, Crimo says: ‘Death to America.’ After describing to the viewers what his home might eventually look like, saying that it will include a window and a bench, Crimo concludes his video by saying: ‘Goodbye Mr. FBI agent.’

In a separate video that Crimo titled 'Smiley Face Soldier (Speed Painting),' he paints an image of a man in green and black with a smiley face emoji over his face on the wall of his parent's house

In a separate video that Crimo titled ‘Smiley Face Soldier (Speed Painting),’ he paints an image of a man in green and black with a smiley face emoji over his face on the wall of his parent’s house 

Above the image of the soldier are the words that Crimo painted on the wall: 'God's Not Dead.'

Above the image of the soldier are the words that Crimo painted on the wall: ‘God’s Not Dead.’ 

'God's Not Dead' is the title of a series of high commercially successful evangelical Christian movies

‘God’s Not Dead’ is the title of a series of high commercially successful evangelical Christian movies 

The shed he built is shown fully constructed and painted in a later video titled: ‘Just do it.’ 

In a separate video that Crimo titled ‘Smiley Face Soldier (Speed Painting),’ the suspect paints an image of a man in green and black with a smiley face emoji over his face on the wall of his parent’s house. This is all done with the Darth Vader’s theme music from ‘Star Wars’ playing over it. 

Above the image of the soldier are the words that Crimo earlier painted on the wall: ‘God’s Not Dead.’ In that video, Crimo painted the words with the main theme from ‘Star Wars’ playing as the soundtrack. 

‘God’s Not Dead’ is the title of a series of high commercially successful evangelical Christian movies.

Crimo also posted a video showing him watching President Donald Trump’s motorcade leaving an airport. That video is named: ‘Awake watches Air Force One arrive.’ 

Other bizarre videos show Crimo repeating the word: ‘Freedom’ and asking the question: ‘Have you been held a prisoner of your own device?’ A similar video sees the suspect saying: ‘I need you to take a leap of faith.’  

Highland Park gunman posted eerie gaming videos that showed him shooting at people from rooftops Source link Highland Park gunman posted eerie gaming videos that showed him shooting at people from rooftops

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