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Highland Park shooting suspect Robert Crimo bought his guns after father sponsored his permit

Robert Crimo was 19 , two years under the legal age to apply for a gun permit, when his father sponsored him for a FOID card in December 2019 and it was approved one month later

Johanna Chisholm
Wednesday 06 July 2022 13:46 BST
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Three months after suspected Highland Park shooter Robert Crimo had police called to his family home when he allegedly threatened to “kill everyone” inside, he was granted his first Firearm Owners Identification (FOID) card, under his father’s sponsorship.

In September 2019, when then 19-year-old Mr Crimo was two years too young to legally obtain a gun permit, Illinois State Police were called to the suspected shooter’s family home after they received a call about a “clear and present danger” report after he threatened to “kill everyone” in his family.

Authorities reportedly removed 16 knives, a sword and a dagger from the home, the Chicago Sun-Times reported, but no charges were pressed and Mr Crimo wasn’t arrested.

In initial reports, police said that the suspected shooter had not been known to authorities prior to the gruesome Independence Day massacre. This report was later changed when police reported that there had been two incidents where law enforcement had been called to the Crimo home in 2019.

In April 2019, police came to the Illinois home where Mr Crimo was residing after he had threatened to take his life by suicide, and the second instance was the day in September 2019 when he said that he would kill everyone inside the family home.

Two months after police were called to the Crimo’s Illinois home, Robert ‘Bob’ Crimo Jr, the suspected shooter’s father, sponsored his son for an FOID card, which was approved one month later in January 2020.

In response to questions about why officials approved the permit, which arrived just a few months after police were called to the family home over the then 19-year-old’s threats to harm himself and his family, officials said there was “there was insufficient basis to establish a clear and present danger and deny the FOID application”.

Mr Crimo passed four background checks in the purchase of his guns, all of them conducted in 2020 and 2021, well after the 2019 incidents that drew police attention, according to the state police.

The parents of the Mr Crimo, who has been charged with seven counts of first-degree murder with more charges expected to follow in the coming days, the Lake County state’s attorney said, issued a statement regarding their son’s pending case.

“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,” said Denise Crimo and her husband, Mr Crimo.

Authorities said during a press conference on Tuesday that the AR-15-style rifle that Mr Crimo took to the 4 July parade route in Highland Park where families, friends and local residents had gathered for Independence Day celebrations was purchased legally. A second rifle was also uncovered inside Mr Crimo’s car when he was arrested after an hours-long manhunt stretching across the city.

Multiple firearms were later found inside Mr Crimo’s home after law enforcement surveilled the premises with a search warrant.

All the firearms were legally purchased across multiple locations in the nearby area and registered under his name, police said.

Highland Park has a ban on assault rifles, which was put in place by the current mayor in 2013.

If convicted of all seven charges of first-degree murder, Mr Crimo will face a mandatory life sentence without the possibility of parole.

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