The alleged shooter’s father has been charged with reckless conduct and faces up to three years in prison if convicted.
Shots rang out during a 4th of July parade in the commercial district of Highland Park, an Illinois suburb, sending hundreds of people fleeing for their lives. A minimum of 24 people were hurt, and we know that at least seven died. The next day, seven counts of first-degree murder were filed against Robert E. Crimo, III.
In a press conference posted to Facebook, Lake County DA Eric Reinhart announced on Friday that Robert Crimo, Sr. had been charged with seven felonies for reckless conduct. Later, Reinhart said that the seven victims of the shooting were Nicolas Toledo (aged 76), Jacki Sundheim (aged 63), Katherine Goldstein (aged 64), Irina McCarthy (aged 35) and her husband Kevin McCarthy (aged 37), Stephen Strauss (aged 88), and Eduardo Uvaldo (aged 69).
It was stated by Reinhart that Crimo, Sr. “took a reckless and unjustified risk when he decided, on Dec. 16, 2019, to sign his son’s application for a firearm owner’s ID or FOID card.”
Reinhart continued, “His son was 19 at the time he signed the application and could not, let me repeat that, could not, get a FOID card, and therefore could not legally purchase a firearm without his father’s assistance in that application process.”
Reinhart mentioned that under the law, minors (those between the ages of 18 and 20) need their parents’ permission to obtain a FOID card and a firearm.
“The best people to decide whether or not a teen should have access to a firearm are the teen’s parents or guardians. He continued, “They are the first line of defense, and in this case, the system failed when Robert Crimo, Jr. sponsored his son. Despite his awareness of the risks, he consented to sign the waiver. As a result, the victims on July 4th suffered physical harm, and this action constituted criminal negligence.”
In retrospect, Reinhart characterized Crimo, Jr.’s actions as “reckless” because of “the information that the father had about his own son,” even though the FOID application had been approved. In the same briefing, Reinhart added that he would not be providing specifics regarding evidence or the information Crimo, Jr. knew about his son.
George M. Gomez, Crimo Jr.’s Lawyer, Issued A Statement Dismissing The Allegations
According to the Lake County state’s attorney, parents of adult children aged 19 can be held criminally liable for their actions even if they occurred nearly three years ago. “This decision should alarm every single parent in the United States of America,” Gomez said. These accusations are completely baseless, and we intend to defend ourselves vigorously against them.
On Friday afternoon, Crimo Jr. surrendered to police in Highland Park. On Saturday, a judge was expected to hear a bond request. The senior Crimo had previously discussed his son’s purchase with the New York Post.
“He bought everything on his own, and they’re all registered to him,” the father said. In their minds, “I prepared him for all this,” is how I sound.
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If Convicted, Crimo Jr. Could Go To Jail For Up To Three Years
The suspect, according to the authorities, used the rooftop of a building in Highland Park as a sniper’s nest and fired upon people in the town’s July 4th parade from there. Twelve additional people were injured in addition to the seven fatalities.
Authorities noted that under the purchase affidavit signed by the father, Crimo Jr. agreed to be “liable for any damages resulting from the minor applicant’s use of firearms or firearm ammunition.”A former mayoral candidate in Highland Park, Crimo Jr. has come out in favor of gun rights.
A full three months after police initially visited the family’s home, in December 2019, he co-signed the FOID application. Police in Illinois says they received a report from a family member that Crimo had made death threats against the family.
In July, a grand jury indicted the shooter on 117 charges, including 21 counts of first-degree murder, 48 counts of attempted murder, and 48 counts of aggravated battery. He is denying the allegations against him and has entered a not-guilty plea.
Children Of Parents Who Are Suspects In Another Case
As far as we know, this is only the second case in recent memory in which the parents of a suspected violent offender have been charged for their child’s actions.
James and Jennifer Crumbley, Ethan’s parents, have pled not guilty to four counts of involuntary manslaughter related to their son’s shooting rampage at a school in Michigan and are awaiting trial. They claim the prosecution lacks legal grounds to hold them accountable for the deaths of their sons.
In November 2021, four students were killed and several others were injured in a shooting at Oxford High School. Ethan Crumbley pleaded guilty in October to terrorism and murder charges related to this incident.
Prosecutors have recently filed documents claiming to have discovered evidence that Crumbley’s mother was aware of his mental illness before she and Crumbley’s father bought him a gun in the days leading up to the shooting.
University of Illinois College of Law professor Eric A. Johnson previously told CNN that a reckless homicide charge is applicable to any act which causes death, provided the person was reckless in performing the act, in the sense that they knew of a substantial and unjustifiable risk the act would cause someone’s death.
Authorities In Illinois Spent Months Compiling Evidence
Lake County prosecutors said they were looking at the evidence “in terms of who knew what when” following the July 4 attack in Illinois and had not ruled out charges against the father.
After the mass shooting, Rinehart, the county state’s attorney, reaffirmed that investigators were working to piece together what family members and others may have known prior to the attack and that while there was no criminal liability for sponsoring a firearm owner’s ID, there were “different ways to look at potential criminal liability” in this case.
Since the night of the attack, local and federal investigators combed through “enormous amounts of digital evidence,” the state’s attorney said.
Rinehart stated that “dozens of federal, state, and local law enforcement personnel” had been hard at work analyzing the digital evidence in the case. “Members of our Cyber Lab were invaluable allies in our quest to learn the truth in the weeks before the FOID was issued.”
Crimo III, who is facing 117 charges, including 21 counts of first-degree murder, pleaded not guilty in August. According to Rinehart, he was also charged with first-degree attempted murder and aggravated battery on 48 separate counts, one for each person hit by a bullet, bullet fragment, or shrapnel.
Prosecutors said Friday that they had arrested the suspect’s father and charged him with felony reckless conduct for his role in his son’s alleged Fourth of July massacre in which seven people were killed and dozens more were injured.
According to Lake County State’s Attorney Eric Rinehart, Robert Crimo, Jr. faces seven counts of felony reckless conduct. According to Rinehart, Crimo Jr. has turned himself into authorities and will have a bond hearing this coming Saturday.
Prosecutors say Crimo Sr. was “criminally reckless” in approving his son’s application for a firearm owner’s identification card (FOID) nearly three years before the massacre. This card is necessary to purchase a firearm in Illinois.