Highland Park shooter's parents had to be reminded to 'pick him up' after school, says former coach
Highland Park shooter Robert ‘Bobby’ Crimo III, 21, attended Lincoln Elementary School with his younger brother Sam. Between 2008 and 2014, they attended the LEAP afterschool program. According to Crimo's former coach Jeremy Cahnmann, 47, who ran an afterschool sports program at Lincoln Elementary School, Crimo and his younger brother were often left behind at their afterschool program because their 'flighty' mom forgot to pick them up or their dad was at work. "I remember the parents more than him because they were kind of a problem," Cahnmann revealed.
Crimo was 9 or 10 when he was enrolled in Cahnmann's Nerf football program, along with his younger brother. "Every week, the Crimos were the last kids there, and we'd have to call their parents to pick them up," the former coach told Daily Mail, speaking of Crimo's dad, Bob Crimo, 58, and his mom, Denise Pesina, 48. "The kid was really quiet, really soft-spoken, never made an issue," added Cahnmann, who now runs the Chicago-based company Brain Bash Trivia.
Cahnmann said it "of course" did not explain why he committed such violence, but that the constant occurrences likely made him feel neglected as a child. It's unclear when the shooter's parents separated but they no longer live together.
"Bobby and his brother were always the last ones. Either somebody forgot or they were busy", the coach said. "The father had a business, a deli. He was routinely late or the mom was routinely late. It ended up getting to the point where they had words with the faculty advisor", he added. "Nobody could get a hold of anyone in that house", Cahnmann said.
He added that Bobby and his younger brother seemed to get along and never caused any problems in the program, but that they were "quiet". "He was a little more reserved and shy but certainly there was no sort of indication of anything sinister. The problem was more with the parents than the kids," Cahnmann said. The accused shooter was an aspiring rapper, who grew up with his parents, younger brother and older sister on McDaniels Avenue in Highland Park, outside of Chicago. According to one of Crimo's neighbors, his parents were always fighting. "The signs were there for a long time. There were always police cars at the house. The parents were arguing, fighting all the time," the neighbor said.
Crimo's mother Pesina is a self-proclaimed energy healer with her company called Trilogy Energy Systems. Whereas, his father once ran for mayor and had a local sandwich shop, Bob's Pantry and Deli, that has since shuttered. "He was so nice, he always gave the kids free candy and treats," the neighbor said. "What I remember of him he was a hardworking guy, he was nice enough but you know, it was problematic that he wasn’t there or he didn’t make arrangements", the coach said.
"I did these programs for 8 years and had hundreds of kids. There are probably about half a dozen I remember and most for good reason. This one, the reason that he stuck out was not because of him but the parents. I thought that it was an interesting thing", Cahnmann said.
Earlier, Crimo liked a tweet supporting the Second Amendment days after the school massacre in Uvalde, Texas on May 27, three days after Uvalde shooting. The Second Amendment is the part of the US Constitution that is used to protect the right to bear arms. According to his Twitter page, Crimo's father, who ran for mayor in Highland Park in April 2019, follows only one account – an archived account of ex-President Donald Trump’s tweets.
Cahnmann said he was stunned to learn of the mass shooting. "I’m shocked," Cahnmann said. "Obviously these things can occur anywhere anytime, but Highland Park is a very affluent suburb where you don’t think things like this will happen." "When I first heard it was him, it was like "holy f**k. I know that kid", Cahnmann said.
The accused shooter, 21, is in police custody after allegedly gunning down revelers at the Highland Park July 4 parade, killing at least six people and injuring more than 36. The FBI is trying to identify the shooter's motive but they have not yet been able to note one down.
There is not much known about Crimo's high school career, whether or not he graduated, and what he spent the last few years doing aside from making amateur rap videos. Crimo's parents have not yet responded to the shooting. On the day of the shooting, Crimo dressed up as a woman. He went to his mom's house and borrowed her car. According to the police, they had no indication that she knew he was the shooter when she agreed to let him take the vehicle.
He then drove out of Highland Park and managed to evade police for eight hours before being apprehended. Crimo, was detained by police on Monday, July 4, as a “person of interest” in the shooting that left six people dead and 36 injured at a July 4th parade in Highland Park. Now, he is in the custody of the FBI.