Father of Illinois Shooting Suspect Helped Son Obtain Gun Card Despite Past Threats

By Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips
Breaking News Reporter
Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter at The Epoch Times based in New York.
July 6, 2022 Updated: July 6, 2022

The father of the 21-year-old man charged in the slayings of seven people during a Fourth of July parade in Illinois sponsored his son’s state firearm identification card about two years ago.

Robert E. Crimo III, the suspect, applied for a state Firearm Owners Identification (FOID) card—which is issued by the Illinois State Police—in December 2019 when he was 19, said the state police in a news release.

“The subject was under 21 and the application was sponsored by the subject’s father,” the news release said. “Therefore, at the time of FOID application review in January of 2020, there was insufficient basis to establish a clear and present danger and deny the FOID application.”

Authorities on Tuesday said in a news conference that Crimo had threatened to kill himself and later, his family in 2019. In one instance in September 2019, police recovered a sword, knives, and other bladed weapons from the suspect after a family member reported that he wanted to “kill everyone,” officials said.

In the September incident, there was no probable cause to arrest and none of the victims signed any criminal complaints against Crimo, Lake County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Christopher Covelli said Tuesday. The Highland Park Police Department notified the Illinois State Police about the matter, although it’s not clear what steps were taken after that.

“In order to purchase a gun legally in Illinois, one has to possess a FOID card. That’s a process that is solely managed through the state police. I’m not able to speak to that process,” Covelli said Tuesday.

The Illinois State Police said that it “received a Clear and Present Danger report on the subject from the Highland Park Police Department,” according to the news release.

“The report was related to threats the subject made against his family,” the release stated. “There were no arrests made in the September 2019 incident and no one, including family, was willing to move forward on a complaint nor did they subsequently provide information on threats or mental health that would have allowed law enforcement to take additional action. Additionally, no Firearms Restraining Order was filed, nor any order of protection.”

More Details

The State Police also indicated that his father, a local business owner who ran for mayor of Highland Park several years ago, had knowledge about his son’s threats and prior interactions with police before he allegedly helped him file for a state FOID card.

Robert Crimo III
Robert (Bob) E. Crimo III, a person of interest in the mass shooting that took place at a Fourth of July parade route in the wealthy Chicago suburb of Highland Park, Ill., in this still image obtained from a social media video. (Robert Crimo/via Reuters)

“Additionally and importantly, the father claimed the knives were his, and they were being stored in the individual’s closet for safekeeping,” state police added in the release. “Based upon that information, the Highland Park Police returned the knives to the father later that afternoon.”

The boy’s father, also named Robert Crimo, has not issued a public comment after the state police’s statement.

The suspect’s parents said in a joint statement via lawyer Steve Greenberg about the 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.”

On Twitter, Greenberg appeared to respond to the Illinois State Police’s claims, asking: “ISP should ask why did THEY approve a FOID card and why do THEY allow the sale of assault weapons?”

The Epoch Times has contacted Greenberg Trial Lawyers for comment.

In the shooting on Monday, the younger Crimo is accused of killing seven people and wounding scores more. Officials said that he left behind an extensive online presence, and they’re investigating rap videos he uploaded to YouTube.

Jack Phillips
Breaking News Reporter
Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter at The Epoch Times based in New York.