The father of the suspect in the Highland Park, Illinois, shooting has been charged in connection with helping his son obtain a firearm and ammunition, officials announced Friday.
Robert E Crimo Jr. was charged with seven counts of reckless endangerment, one for each person killed in the attack on the Fourth of July parade, Lake County attorney Eric Rinehart said.
Prosecutors said Crimo Jr. his son, Robert E. Crimo III, helped purchase the AR-15 style weapon used in the shooting by sponsoring his son’s Firearm Owners Identification (FOID) application.
The suspect in the shooting was 21 at the time of the attack, but 19 when he bought the semiautomatic rifle and ammunition, they said. Authorities have said he sponsored the application despite previous threats from his son to harm himself and his loved ones.
Under state law, gun buyers ages 18 to 20 generally must have a parent approve the purchase, prosecutors said.
“He knew what he knew, and he signed the form anyway,” Rinehart said at a press conference on Friday. “This was criminally reckless.”
A lawyer for Crimo Jr., George M. Gomez, said in a statement that the allegations are baseless.
“This decision should alarm every parent in the United States of America who, according to the Lake County Attorney, knows exactly what is going on with their 19-year-old adult children and could be held criminally liable for actions committed nearly three years later. be taken.” Gomez said. “These allegations are absurd and we will fight them every step of the way.”
Crimo Jr. turned himself in to the Highland Park Police Department on Friday afternoon. He was released on $50,000 bail after a hearing on Saturday. He must adhere to a curfew, surrender all firearms and his FOID card, and may not purchase new weapons.
The older Crimo previously spoke to the New York Post about his son’s purchase.
“He bought everything himself and they are in his name,” the father said. “They make me feel like I groomed him to do all this.”
Crimo Jr. faces a three-year prison sentence if convicted.
Authorities allege the suspect in the shooting climbed to the top of a building in Highland Park, used that elevated spot as a sniper’s nest and opened fire on people attending the city’s Fourth of July parade.
In addition to the seven deaths, a dozen more were injured.
According to the purchase statement signed by the father, Crimo Jr. agreeing to be “liable for all damages resulting from the use of firearms or firearms ammunition by the minor applicant,” authorities have noted.
Crimo Jr. is a former mayoral candidate of Highland Park who has expressed support for protections of the Second Amendment.
He co-signed that FOID application in December 2019, three months after police visited the family’s home. A family member reported that Crimo had threatened to kill relatives, Illinois state police said.
A grand jury indicted the suspect in the July shooting on 117 charges, including 21 counts of first degree murder, 48 counts of attempted murder and 48 counts of grievous bodily harm. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Minyvonne Burke contributed.