Alleged July 4 Shooter's Ex-Football Coach Reveals Troubling Details About Suspect's Parents


The former football coach of the suspect in the Highland Park, Illinois, parade shooting Monday says he remembers all kinds of red flags — although not about the alleged shooter. Instead, it was the suspect’s parents who made Jeremy Cahnmann nervous.

In an interview with Fox News, Cahnmann said Robert Crimo III’s mother and father were “a problem” and were, at best, indifferent to their child.

Crimo, 21, was arrested after police say he opened fire on the Highland Park Fourth of July parade, killing seven people and wounding dozens more.

(Here at The Western Journal, we’ll keep bringing you the latest details on the Highland Park attack — and how it likely could have been prevented without any new gun laws. We’ll keep bringing America the truth that the mainstream media won’t. You can help us by subscribing.)

Cahnmann, who ran an after-school sports program, said Crimo’s parents were always the last to pick up the boy and his younger brother — and sometimes needed to be reminded to do so.

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“Every week, the Crimos were the last kids there, and we’d have to call their parents to pick them up,” he said.

While Crimo might have been ignored by his parents, however, Cahnmann said he never caused a problem at the Nerf football league.

“The kid was really quiet, really soft-spoken, never made an issue,” the coach said.

From the sound of things, Crimo’s father, Bob, might have been inattentive, but his mother, Denise Pesina, was more actively problematic as a parent.

“She got into it once with one of the heads of the program, she was yelling,” Cahnmann said.

“It seemed like her kids were a nuisance to her.”

This, of course, was when Crimo was young. As he got older, neighbors said things began to escalate.

“The signs were there for a long time,” a neighbor said, according to Fox News.

“There were always police cars at the house. The parents were arguing, fighting all the time.”

Police also had two run-ins with the accused shooter and his family in 2019, according to Forbes.

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“Sgt. Christopher Covelli of the Lake County Major Crimes Task Force said during a press conference law enforcement had two prior contacts with Crimo: One took place after learning Crimo had attempted suicide in April 2019, and another occurred five months later, when a family member reported Crimo said he was going to ‘kill everyone’ and had a collection of knives,” the outlet reported Tuesday.

“Officers visited Crimo’s residence in September 2019 and removed 16 knives, a dagger and a sword, but there was ‘no probable cause for arrest’ and no complaints were signed by the witnesses, according to Covelli.”

In addition, Crimo posted disturbing videos on social media, including a rap video using the stage name “Awake the Rapper.” Fox News said the 2021 clip “featured drawings of a stick figure wearing tactical gear carrying out an attack with a rifle, and a newspaper clipping about Lee Harvey Oswald, who assassinated John F. Kennedy.”

The accused shooter’s parents issued a statement through their attorney on Monday, according to WMAQ-TV, saying their “hearts, thoughts and prayers” were with those touched by the Highland Park shooting.

“We are all mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, and this is a terrible tragedy for many families, the victims, the paradegoers, the community, and our own,” the statement read. “Our hearts, thoughts and prayers go out to everybody.”

Now, how much of a role did Crimo’s parents, if they were truly negligent and thought their progeny were “a nuisance,” play in this tragedy? We don’t know, of course, which should stop us from speculating about it.

Unfortunately, speculation about the root causes of mass shootings based on scanty evidence is the left’s favorite parlor game at the moment, and no less than Vice President Kamala Harris stood atop the dead bodies of the victims, just one day after the tragedy, to blame it all on “assault weapons” and the GOP’s refusal to chip away at the Second Amendment some more.

Speaking in Highland Park on Tuesday, Harris said “we’ll deal with what we need to deal with in terms of also, as we move forward, all agreeing that we’ve got to be smarter as a country in terms of who has access to what and, in particular, assault weapons.”

As with most of these shootings, there’s no particular evidence that a semi-automatic rifle confers any more of an advantage for a mass shooter than, say, a handgun.

Would new gun laws stop mass shootings?

There’s no evidence that gun control measures would have prevented this attack, either — but that’s not going to stop the vice president from using a fresh, unfolding tragedy to advance the administration’s agenda.

On the other hand, we have plenty of evidence Crimo is like too many others in his generation.

From one report, we can glean that he likely was raised by a mother and father who let the rest of the world do the work for him.

He clearly suffered from mental illness.

He was just one of many 21st-century digital boys, let loose in the wilds of social media and video-sharing websites with what can only be described as a questionable level of supervision.

Like far too many of these lost souls, he apparently thought the way to get attention was to shock — debasing himself along the way.

Speculation? Yes, but not uninformed speculation.

Our society has destroyed the nuclear family and, in doing so, destroyed the fruit it produces. That likely contributed a whole lot more to Monday’s shooting than any gun did — and no firearm ban, however comprehensive, will lead us out of this dark night of the American soul.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture