TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA/NBC) — The uncle of Robert Crimo, the suspect in a shooting at Highland Park, Illinois parade that left seven people dead on July 4, is breaking his silence after the tragedy.

“I’m in shock. Disbelief. I mean it’s very hard. It’s very hard for me. I’m very heartbroken. It’s tough times for me too,” Paul Crimo said.

Paul Crimo said he was watching the news when he found out his nephew was the suspect.

“When I heard about it, I almost passed out. It was shocking, very shocking,” he added.

Crimo’s nephew reportedly admitted to firing into the crowd, killing seven people and injuring dozens more. He was charged with seven counts of first-degree murder.

Crimo’s parents have reportedly retained the law office of R. Kelly’s defense attorney to represent them.

“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. Our hearts, thoughts, and prayers go out to everybody,” the family said in a statement.

The family is said to have a strong presence in the community. Crimo’s father, Robert reportedly ran for mayor of the city in 2019, but was defeated by Mayor Nancy Rotering in 2019.

“Yeah, a lot of people knows us. A lot of people supports us. A lot of people are behind us. I mean hundreds and hundreds of people, maybe thousands. A lot of people. We’re very well known. We’ve been in business 20 years,” Paul Crimo told NBC.

“We’re just sorry. We’re just sorry. We’re very sorry and our thoughts and prayers goes out to everyone,” Crimo said, adding that he was worried about all the families who are affected.”

“My prayers and thoughts goes out to them. They will always be inside my heart forever,” he said.