An Independence Day celebration turned into a deadly mass shooting on Monday in Highland Park, Illinois, which left at least six people dead and 30 others hospitalized, leading to authorities identifying and arresting a 22-year-old suspect.
Previous articles included the suspect’s name because he was still at large, but due to The Daily Wire’s policy against publishing the names of mass shooters, his name will be redacted in all future stories.
The suspect opened fire from a suburban Chicago rooftop that sent hundreds of parade-goers fleeing the scene leaving behind personal belongings like chairs, strollers, and bicycles, police said.
“This was very random, very intentional, and a very sad day,” Sgt. Christopher Covelli, of the Lake County Major Crime Task Force, during a press update.
Police recovered a “high-powered rifle” on the unsecured rooftop of a local business.
Before authorities took the suspect into custody, he was considered armed and dangerous until FBI agents spotted him at home in Highwood, Illinois, where neighbors said he lives with his family.
A poster released by the FBI said the person of interest is a white male weighing 120 pounds and standing 5’11” tall. With a thin frame, the suspect also has brown hair with several tattoos, including four tally marks with a line running through them on his right cheek, red rose and green leaves on his neck, and cursive script about his left eyebrow.
According to reports, the suspect had a YouTube page under the handle “Awake the Rapper.” One video that has raised Twitter users’ eyebrows shows a pencil drawing of a person gunning down a crowd in between a montage of shots featuring the suspect backed by cinematic-like music.
The Post Millennial recovered a second video allegedly from the suspect where he recites a poem that frequently repeats he is “like a sleepwalker” that “can’t be stopped.”
The post has been taken down since the time of his arrest.
Photo evidence on social media displays law enforcement holding the suspect wearing a black long-sleeve shirt, a red undershirt, and black pants, handcuffed and held face-down on the ground.
Other documentation of the suspect shows him wearing a Trump flag around his neck, wearing a black hat with FBI embroidered in white, and smoking Camel cigarettes. He can also be seen at a Trump parade, where he was dressed like “Waldo” from the “Where’s Waldo” cartoon book series.
However, a Twitter account using the alleged suspect’s artist name scrolls through what posts he “liked” on the platform — most of which indicate support for arresting Trump supporters who protested the results of the 2020 Presidential Election and rioted at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021.
One of the Highland Park shooting suspect’s uncles told CNN his nephew showed no warning signs that would lead him to believe he would become a mass shooter.
He told CNN he never saw him engage in any violence or concerning behavior, adding he was unaware of his nephew’s political views.
“He’s a quiet kid,” he said. “He’s usually on his own. He’s a lonely, quiet person. He keeps everything to himself.”
CNN reported that the suspect lives in an apartment behind the house owned by his father. To his uncle’s knowledge, he never saw the suspect with friends at his apartment.
The suspect’s uncle reportedly told CNN his nephew wasn’t working, though he worked at Panera Bread before the COVID pandemic.
The uncle also said the suspect was active on YouTube.
He saw his nephew on Sunday night for the last time when he was sitting on a recliner in the house, looking at his computer.
“Everything was as normal,” he said.
Social media users have also posted the suspect’s last Facebook post from May 29, 2021, which says, “You’re all sinners.”