NBC News senior reporter Ben Collins said on the “Morning Joe” panel Tuesday that the Fourth of July parade shooting is “not tied” to former President Donald Trump.
Police detained suspected shooter Robert E. Crimo, 22, after the attack that killed at least six people and injured over 20 others. Collins said the former president is not to blame for the shootings after reports circulated that the suspected shooter attended a Trump rally dressed as the character from the “Where’s Waldo” children’s books.
“The one thing that combines all these things is ready access to weapons,” he said. “This guy had ready access to weapons. That’s the one thing. He had ready access to a machine that could kill a bunch of people in a short period of time. You’re not gonna be able to stop this on a rhetorical level, this guy posted on Spotify, Discord, a bunch of websites that you and I would never hear of,” he began.
“You can’t drill this down to one specific traditional political subculture,” he continued. “I know a lot of people want to point out that this guy was a Donald Trump fan. There were pictures of him draped in a Trump flag or outside of a Donald Trump motorcade. This is part of a much larger, deeper subculture that Donald Trump is in the past of. This guy grew up as a child with Donald Trump as his president. He is trying to advance the accelerationism well past Donald Trump. This guy is part of a new wave of terror, and that’s something we have to get our brains around right now. This is not tied to one guy.” (RELATED: Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney Says He Wants Out Of His Job After Police Officers Get Shot During July 4 Celebration)
Collins argued the shooter opened fire to express his “disaffection with the world” and called for greater awareness of the issues that cause people to want to open fire on innocent people.
“We have to wrap our brains around this very new reality where there are a bunch of different subcultures that are extremely violent and they think the best way to get their message out, they think the best way to show that they can’t live in this world, is to murder a bunch of people at a parade.”