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Far-right figures claim the suspect in the Highland Park shooting is transgender

Prominent far-right figures falsely claim Robert “Bobby” E. Crimo III is transgender after suspected Highland Park shooter was spotted in drag.

Crimo, who reportedly confessed to killing seven people in a Fourth of July parade on Monday, was pictured disguised in women’s clothing as he fled the scene of the shooting.

Although investigators have since determined that the 21-year-old planned the attack weeks in advance and specifically used the women’s clothing to blend in with the crowd and help his escape, right-wing speakers on social media argued the images were Proof that Crimo was transgender.

White nationalist anthime Joseph “Tim” Gionet, known online as Baked Alaska, referred to Crimo as “HIGHLAND PARK.” [trans slur] SHOOTER” in Notes to Telegram.

Failed congressional candidate Laura Loomer labeled Crimo as transgender, as did the suspect who shot dead 19 students and two teachers at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, in May.

“In other words, both the Uvalde and Highland Park shooters were men who liked to wear women’s clothing,” wrote Loomer. “Looks like the trans movement is radicalizing mass shooters. We don’t need gun control. We need WOKE CONTROL.”

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The Uvalde shooter, 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, was not transgender. The bogus claim first surfaced on 4chan and eventually made its way to right-wing politicians after users unearthed photos of a totally unrelated transgender person.

There is no evidence that Crimo was transgender. In the past year, however, conservatives have stepped up their attacks and rhetoric on transgender people to smear the movement over a range of imagined sins. Branding a mass shooter as such is an escalation that many of the leading voices on the far right are fond of making, although it is incorrect.

It also helps divert attention from a number of newer mass shooters who have adopted far-right ideology.

Lauren Witzke, a self-proclaimed Christian-American nationalist with nearly 28,000 subscribers to Telegram, used similar language when she shared a photo of Crimo fleeing the shooting.

“Supposed picture of Highland Park [trans slur] Schütze leaves the crime scene,” Witzke wrote.

The topic of conversation also made its way onto Twitter, where users incorrectly made connections between transgender people and the mass shooting.

Investigators have not yet released a motive. However, the alleged shooter left an extensive digital trail on the internet.

Aside from his rap videos posted under the alias “Awake” telegraphing violence, Crimo has been pictured with Trump merchandise and at right-wing rallies. The suspect was also “very active on forums focused on violent videos and extremism in the years leading up to the attack,” according to NBC News.


Read more about the Daily Dot’s technical and political coverage

*Initial publication: July 6, 2022 at 3:44 pm CDT

Michael Thalen

Mikael Thalen is a Seattle-based tech and security reporter covering social media, data breaches, hackers and more.

Michael Thalen

https://www.dailydot.com/debug/far-right-claims-highland-park-shooter-transgender/ Far-right figures claim the suspect in the Highland Park shooting is transgender

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