Authorities refused to say Wednesday if kin of the accused Highland Park shooter could face charges after his dad helped him buy the
Authorities refused to say Wednesday if kin of the accused Highland Park shooter could face charges after his dad helped him buy the gun used in the attack, even though relatives said the son threatened them.
“I don’t want to comment on that,” Lake County State’s Attorney Eric Rinehart said when asked if investigators are looking at possible criminal charges against Robert “Bobby” Crimo III’s family.
“I don’t want to answer that question right now in terms of what our work continues to be to look at all of the information and evidence in this case.”
Illinois State Police officials revealed late Tuesday that Crimo, a 21-year-old wannabe rapper, had threatened “to kill everyone” in his family in September 2019, leading cops to remove a dagger, sword and a collection of 16 knives from his home.
Just three months later, his father, Robert Crimo II, sponsored the alleged shooter when he applied for a firearm owners identification card (FOID).
When gun buyers under age 21 are seeking to purchase firearms in Illinois, their parent or legal guardian must sponsor the application and sign an affidavit stating they’re allowing the purchase and they agree to be held “liable … for any damages resulting from the minor applicant’s use of firearms.”
Using the FOID card Crimo’s father signed off on, the shooter purchased four firearms in June and July 2020 while he was still 19 years old. One of those guns – a Smith & Wesson AR-15 – was used to commit Monday’s slaughter, officials have said.
The dad’s lawyer, Steven Greenberg, insisted that his client wasn’t aware of his son’s threats in 2019 or the knife collection when the dad sponsored his son’s firearm application. But cops disputed that account and said the father was well-aware.
“Importantly, the father claimed the knives were his and they were being stored in the individual’s closet for safekeeping,” Illinois State Police said in a press release.
“Based upon that information, the Highland Park Police returned the knives to the father later that afternoon,” the force said.
The state force also confirmed that local cops alerted them to the fact that Crimo III should be treated as a “clear and present danger.”
When asked if there was legal precedent for charging a sponsor of a FOID application, Rinehart said it was not something he has done in his administration.
“We can get back to you on that question in terms of whether that’s been done in the past. I know there’s another state in Michigan, totally different set of facts,” Rinehart said, apparently referring to Jennifer and James Crumbley, the parents of Michigan school shooting suspect Ethan Crumbley, who were charged in connection with that case.
“But that’s not something that I have personally done while I’ve been state’s attorney,” Rinehart said.
When asked if Crimo’s father was cooperating with the investigation, Rinehart again refused to answer.
“I don’t want to go into levels of cooperation,” he said.
“We’re talking to everybody though and working on getting the most cooperation we can out of everybody.”