Highland Park shooting suspect Robert Crimo III appeared in court where a judge said he would be held without bail.
Judge Theodore Potkonjak described Crimo as a “threat to the community.”
Crimo is charged with seven counts of first degree murder:
Crimo, 21, allegedly fired more than 80 rounds at a crowd of spectators Monday morning in a suburb of Chicago, killing seven people and injuring dozens, before fleeing the scene dressed as a woman, authorities said.
According to prosecutors, Crimo confessed to shooting at innocent paradegoers from a rooftop perch. He allegedly admitted to dressing up in a woman’s clothing and covering his tattoos in makeup to try and conceal is identity. After he fled the rooftop, according to prosecutors, his Smith & Wesson M&P 15 rifle fell out of his bag in a back alley.
Lake County Deputy Sheriff Chris Covelli said that Crimo told the police “he happened upon a gathering in or near Madison, Wis., and considered attacking people there with a rifle he had in his car” after he left the scene in Highland Park.
Crimo did not attack the group “because he had not conducted enough advance planning.”
Crimo watched the hearing via a video link from Lake County Jail. He told the judge he did not have a lawyer. His lawyer Tom Durkin “had to step aside because of an unspecified conflict of interest in the case.” He will have a public defender now.
The police also revealed how Crimo’s father helped him obtain his guns despite having a violent past.
Robert Crimo II, sponsored his son’s FOID application in December 2019 since he was only 19 years old.
Crimo II did this despite someone calling the police twice in that year because his son threatened to kill himself and his family:
In April 2019, an individual contacted the Highland Park Police Department a week after learning of Crimo’s attempted suicide, Lake County Major Crime Task Force spokesman Christopher Covelli said Tuesda
It was a delayed report, so police responded to the residence a week later and spoke with Crimo and his parents. Mental health professionals handled the matter with no further law enforcement action.
Months later in September 2019, a family member reported that Crimo had a collection of knives and said he was “going to kill everyone,” Covelli told reporters. Police responded to the residence and removed 16 knives, a dagger and sword from his home. At that time, there was no probable cause to arrest, and no complaints were signed by any of the victims, Covelli said.
The Highland Park Police Department notified the Illinois State Police. But they did not have information he had any firearms:
Illinois State Police “received a Clear and Present Danger report on the subject from the Highland Park Police Department,” the agency said in a press release. “The report was related to threats the subject made against his family. There were no arrests made in the September 2019 incident and no one, including family, was willing to move forward on a complaint nor did they subsequently provide information on threats or mental health that would have allowed law enforcement to take additional action. Additionally, no Firearms Restraining Order was filed, nor any order of protection.”
Crimo was able to pass background checks because no one filed complaints against him:
Between June 2020 and September 2021, the younger Crimo also passed four background checks when purchasing firearms, through the Firearms Transaction Inquiry Program (FTIP), which includes the federal National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), Illinois State Police said. The only offense included in his criminal history was an ordinance violation in January 2016 for possession of tobacco, Illinois State Police said, adding that the agency has no mental health prohibitor reports submitted by healthcare facilities or personnel regarding Crimo.
The September 2019 Clear and Present Danger report “indicates when police went to the home and asked the individual if he felt like harming himself or others, he responded no,” Illinois State Police said.
“Additionally and importantly, the father claimed the knives were his, and they were being stored in the individual’s closet for safekeeping,” state police said. “Based upon that information, the Highland Park Police returned the knives to the father later that afternoon.”
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