MEMRI Exclusive: Highland Park, Illinois Shooter Posted Antisemitic Messages Online, Caught 'Sizing Up' Synagogue In April 2022; Neo-Nazis Online React To Shooting With Antisemitism

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July 8, 2022

On July 4, 2022, Robert E. Crimo III killed seven and dozens injured in a shooting in Highland Park, Illinois. Highland Park is a Chicago suburb that was reported to be 50% Jewish in a 2020 study by researchers at Brandeis University and the University of Chicago.[1] Moreover, Highland Park is also known as a popular destination for Jews throughout the North Shore for its camps, synagogues, and kosher restaurants.[2] Additionally, three of Crimo's victims are believed to be Jewish.[3]

After committing the attack in Highland Park, Crimo fled to Madison, Wisconsin. According to authorities, he saw another Independence Day celebration in Wisconsin and "seriously contemplated" attacking.[4]

While Crimo's motive for the attack is unknown, it is important to note that his online activity on a fringe website indicates he likely has antisemitic opinions. Moreover, in April 2022, Crimo was reported to have visited a synagogue in the North Shore community, blocks away from the July 4 attack. The rabbi of the synagogue released a statement after the attack saying, "an individual he believes was Crimo was wearing a yarmulke when he visited the synagogue." He noted that "he seemed out of place… was greeted by our security team… and departed without incident."[5]

According to the synagogue's security chief noted that he had been suspicious of Crimo when he arrived at the synagogue dressed "in the goth style" with gloves. He insisted "he was definitely sizing up the synagogue."[6]


Crimo in one of his music videos.

Crimo's Antisemitism On Fringe Website

Crimo has written multiple online posts possibly indicating he has antisemitic opinions. He wrote a post espousing Holocaust denial.

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[1] Juf.org/Population-Study/default.aspx, accessed July 6, 2022.

[2]Jta.org/2022/07/05/united-states/what-you-need-to-know-about-highland-park-the-very-jewish-chicago-suburb-rattled-by-july-4-shooting

[3]Thejc.com/news/world/the-jewish-victims-of-the-highland-park-shooting-maJRD1YzCprsHu48aTKn4, July 7, 2022.

[4] Npr.org/2022/07/07/1110243287/highland-park-shooting-crimo-second-attack-madison-wisconsin, July 7, 2022.

[5]Chicago.suntimes.com/2022/7/5/23195435/highland-park-mass-shooting-fourth-july-parade-robert-crimo-synagogue-chabad-michael-masters, July 5, 2022.

[6] Nypost.com/2022/07/06/robert-crimo-was-sizing-up-synagogue-security-boss/, July 6, 2022.

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