Robert “Bobby” Crimo III, the “person of interest” arrested in the Highland Park mass shooting, used a legally obtained weapon in the Fourth of July slaughter — but was not known to police, the local mayor revealed Tuesday.
Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering — who banned assault rifles in 2013 — gave the update while telling the “Today” show that she had known the suspect when he was a Cub Scout and she was the leader.
“I don’t know where the gun came from, but I do know that it was legally obtained,” Rotering told the NBC News morning show, without elaborating.
She said she didn’t believe he was “previously known to police” before the massacre — but noted the apparent forewarnings in his disturbing rap lyrics and social media posts.
“We know that several postings really reflected a plan and a desire to commit carnage for a long time in advance,” said Rotering, who previously defeated Crimo’s dad when he ran for mayor.
She revealed that she knew the suspect, a 22-year-old aspiring rapper, suggesting that he “clearly had a mental breakdown” before the carnage.
“I know him as somebody who was a Cub Scout when I was the Cub Scout leader … He was just a little boy,” she told “Today.”
“And it’s one of those things where you step back and you say, ‘What happened? How did somebody become this angry, this hateful, to then take it out on innocent people who literally were just having a family day?’” she asked.
However, she insisted the biggest issue was why “we as a nation allow this to happen with such regularity.”
“At some point, this nation needs to have a conversation about these weekly events involving the murder of dozens of people with legally obtained guns.
“If that’s what our laws stand for, then I think we need to re-examine the laws,” she said, saying that “our values are askew.”
“We as a country have to have a very strong conversation with ourselves… We’ve been talking about this literally for decades at this point. And it’s one of those things where you ask yourself, ‘If this reflects the values of who we are, what does that say about us as a nation?’”
She said she was shocked to get calls from mayors in other cities and towns who have suffered similar mass shootings.
“Whether it’s Buffalo, New York, whether it’s Uvalde, Texas, whether it’s Highland Park, Illinois, this is unbelievable to me that this is an acceptable part of who we are as a nation,” she said.