TOP STORIES Highland Park suspect legally purchased 5 guns despite troubling...

Highland Park suspect legally purchased 5 guns despite troubling encounter with police

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Downtown Highland Park, Illinois, was left roped up Tuesday afternoon after a deadly shooting at a July 4th parade.

Max Herman/AFP via Getty Images


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Max Herman/AFP via Getty Images

Downtown Highland Park, Illinois, was left roped up Tuesday afternoon after a deadly shooting at a July 4th parade.

Max Herman/AFP via Getty Images

A 21-year-old man accused of killing seven people at a Fourth of July parade in suburban Illinois is expected to appear in court for the first time on Wednesday, a day after authorities said he legally purchased his gun despite two meetings with law enforcement that could raise red flags.

The suspect, Robert Crimo III, passed four background checks and purchased five weapons, including an AR-15 type rifle used in the shooting, authorities said Thursday.

The revelations raised questions about Illinois gun laws and how Crimo could claim gun ownership three months after local police notified state authorities in a “clear and present danger” report.

In addition to the seven people killed in Monday’s shooting, 38 others were injured. Crimo was charged with seven murders. Prosecutors say additional charges are pending.

The suspect was able to purchase the weapon despite a report of “clear and present danger”.

Lake County authorities said Tuesday that the suspect, Robert Crimo III, had two encounters with local police in 2019 before he legally received his gun.

The first call in April 2019 was a message about a suicide attempt by Krimo.

Then, in September 2019, a family member called Highland Park Police to report that Crimo “said he was going to kill everyone” and that he had a collection of knives, Sgt. Christopher Covelli, spokesman for the Lake County Sheriff’s Office, said at a press conference on Tuesday.

Highland Park police confiscated 16 knives, a dagger and a sword from Crimo’s home but ultimately did not arrest Crimo, Covelli said, in part because none of his family wanted to sign the complaints.

Following this, Highland Park Police notified the Illinois State Police of the incident in a “clear and present danger” report.

But because Crimo did not then have a FOID card—the Illinois police firearms owner’s identification card required to own a gun—nor a waiver, the state police said, their “involvement in this case was over.”

Three months later, Crimo, then 19, applied for a FOID card. His application was sponsored by his father and was approved by the state police in January 2020.

Later that year, Crimo underwent three background checks to buy guns, authorities said. He passed his fourth test on September 20, 2021, when he turned 21.

In a second statement released late Thursday evening, the Illinois State Police directly answered questions about why a “clear and present danger” report did not prevent Crimo from obtaining a FOID card just three months later.

“The report indicates that when the police came to the house and asked the man if he wanted to harm himself or others, he answered in the negative,” the agency said in a statement. “No one, including the family, was willing to move forward with the complaint and subsequently provided threat or mental health information that would have allowed law enforcement to take further action.”

In addition, the agency reported that Crimo’s father claimed that the knives belonged to him and that they were kept in his son’s closet “for safekeeping”. Later that day, Highland Park Police returned the knives to Crimo’s father.

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