Highland Park parade shooting: The quiet neighbor few noticed

If Bobby Crimo had been planning the Highland Park parade shootings for weeks — or if he owned a high-powered rifle, as police said Tuesday — Paul Crimo, who lived under the same roof as his nephew, never suspected anything.

But Paul Crimo and his nephew, who shared a pale gray stucco home in the wealthy North Shore suburb of Highwood for the past two years, lived very separate lives — the uncle in the main part of the two-story house that has been in the family for generations, Bobby Crimo in an apartment at the rear, Paul Crimo said Tuesday.

Robert E. “Bobby” Crimo III, 22

Highland Park police department

“He was a very quiet guy. We really didn’t engage. He lived in the back apartment and I lived in the front house,” Crimo said, as he was getting ready to leave the house to meet a cousin. “We really didn’t see each other. Just ‘Hi,’ and ‘Bye.’”

Paul Crimo last saw his nephew about 5 p.m. Sunday. The young man, as he liked to do from time to time, was lying in his uncle’s recliner in the main part of the house — looking at his cellphone.

“I saw no signs — nothing,” Crimo said.

Other neighbors on Pleasant Drive said they rarely, if ever, saw Bobby Crimo. He wasn’t the type to come out and shoot the breeze. He would zip by, music blaring, on an electric scooter.

“I never saw him outside,” said a neighbor who agreed to be identified only as Steve. “I never saw people his age in the house.”

But there were no visits from the police to the house that anyone noticed — or anything else that seemed untoward, neighbors said. It was only Monday when a SWAT team arrived that neighbors took particular notice of the slightly shabby-looking stucco home.

Paul Crimo said the FBI showed up Monday but left without taking anything.

Bobby Crimo was arrested while driving a Honda Fit. His uncle said the young man owns a silver Acura, which sat in the Crimos’ front yard Tuesday, weeds growing up around the tires. The number “47” is painted in large black-and-gold letters on the driver and passenger side doors. Paul Crimo didn’t know what it meant. He also knew nothing about his nephew’s music career; he doesn’t like rap music.

Bobby Crimo had a job at Panera Bread but lost that position two years ago at the onset of the pandemic. Bobby Crimo was currently unemployed, his uncle said.

Paul Crimo said he learned about his nephew’s alleged involvement in the parade shootings when he saw the 21-year-old’s face posted on social media.

“I can’t even believe it. I feel sorry for all the families [of the victims]. My heart goes out to them,” Crimo said.

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