We are discussing A Suspect in the July 4 Shooting in Highland Park Father Has Been Charged With Seven Counts. According to authorities, the father of the Illinois man accused of killing seven people in a mass shooting at a July 4 celebration in a Chicago suburb has been charged with seven felonies for reckless conduct.
Eric Rinehart, the state’s attorney for Lake County, announced that Robert Crimo Jr. turned himself into police on Friday and will have a bond hearing on Saturday. According to Rinehart, the accusations stem from Crimo financing his son’s application for a weapons license in 2019 at the age of 19, at the time.
According to Rinehart, the best people to judge whether their teenagers should have weapons are their parents and guardians. “When Robert Crimo Jr. sponsored his kid in this case, the system fell short. He signed the form despite knowing what he knew.
Rinehart declined to elaborate on the circumstances surrounding this week’s charge filing by his office. Authorities had previously stated that the alleged shooter, Robert Crimo III, attempted suicide with a machete in April 2019 and was accused of threatening to “murder everyone” by a family member in September 2019.
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Both reports were released months before December 2019, when Crimo Jr. sponsored his son’s application. George M. Gomez, a lawyer from the Chicago region, confirmed by phone on Friday that he was defending Robert Crimo Jr. in the recently revealed criminal case.
He declined to comment but instead sent an email with a statement calling the accusations “baseless and unprecedented.” Gomez released a statement in which he said, “This decision should alarm every single parent in the United States of America who, according to the Lake County State’s Attorney, knows exactly what is going on with their 19-year-old adult children and can be held criminally liable for actions taken nearly three years later.”
“These accusations are baseless, and we will fight them at every turn. Gomez claimed that Crimo Jr. “continues to sympathize and feel awful for the people and families who were hurt and lost loved ones.” Still, the lawyer referred to the accusations as “politically motivated and a distraction from the real reform that needs to happen in this country.”
In July, a grand jury charged Robert Crimo III with 21 counts of first-degree murder, 48 counts of attempted murder, and 48 counts of aggravated battery about the seven fatalities and numerous injuries caused by the assault on a cherished Christmas gathering in Highland Park.
Until Friday, Rinehart had declined to address the possibility that the man’s parents would be held accountable for the killings. Legal experts have noted that charges against a shooter’s parent or guardian are uncommon, partly because it might be challenging to establish such accusations.
One noteworthy exception was when a prosecutor in Michigan last year brought involuntary manslaughter charges against the parents of a teen who was allegedly responsible for the deaths of four students at his high school. While the state appeals court reviews the parents’ appeal, the trial scheduled for January, in that case, has been postponed.
According to previous reports, Illinois State Police reviewed Crimo III’s application for a gun license in December 2019. They did not find any grounds to reject it because he had no arrests, criminal history, severe mental health issues, orders of protection, or other actions that would disqualify him.
But after the shooting during the parade, police records revealed that Crimo III had a “history of attempts,” according to a police report that The Associated Press could access. A family member informed police that Crimo III had a stockpile of knives and had vowed to “murder everyone” in September 2019.
Crimo III and his mother contested the violent threat at the time. The knives were returned to the authorities after father Robert Crimo Jr. allegedly informed detectives they belonged to him.
In attendance at several of his son’s pretrial hearings this year, Robert Crimo Jr. nodded in greeting when his son entered the courtroom shackled and surrounded by guards. The father has been in Highland Park for a while and is well-known in the community. He once ran for mayor of the city and was famous for running convenience businesses.
After the shooting, Robert Crimo Jr. interviewed the media, expressing his belief that he had done nothing wrong by assisting his son in obtaining a gun license through the state’s recognized procedure and that he did not anticipate being charged.
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