Highland Park shooting suspect’s father says he had ‘zero’ involvement, according to media reports
“I had no — not an inkling, warning — that this was going to happen,” Robert Crimo Jr., told ABC. “I am just shocked.”
Robert Crimo Jr., father of the suspect charged in the Highland Park parade massacre, has said he had “zero” involvement with the shooting that left seven people dead and scores more injured, according to interviews the father has done with national media outlets.
Crimo’s attorney, George Gomez, denied an immediate request for comment. Gomez is now representing the family after Steve Greenberg, who represented R. Kelly, stepped down in light of a “conflict,” Greenberg announced on Twitter Thursday.
Crimo said he and his wife, Denise, are “devastated” by the shooting, which injured a relative of one of their close friends, adding that he’s “furious” and wants a “long sentence.”
“That’s life, You know you have consequences for actions,” Crimo told the New York Post about his son, Robert Crimo III, 21, who was charged Tuesday with seven counts of first-degree murder. “He made a choice. He didn’t have to do that. I think there’s mental illness there, obviously. … I didn’t see a lot of it.”
Crimo said he spoke to his son just 13 hours before the shooting. During the conversation they discussed “the world” and the recent mass shooting in Denmark, according to an interview Crimo did with the New York Post.
According to Crimo, his son called the mass shooter “an idiot.”
“I had no — not an inkling, warning — that this was going to happen,” Crimo told ABC. “I am just shocked.”
The suspect’s father told ABC News he “wasn’t aware” of Robert Crimo III’s online posts depicting violent scenes, saying he didn’t understand some of his son’s art, though he did say some of the art “wasn’t him.”
Crimo also said he wasn’t aware of his son’s firearms until his 21st birthday last September, when he showed his father a handgun. “Oh, looks nice,” Crimo said he told his son at the time, according to ABC News.
Crimo sponsored his son’s firearm owners identification (FOID) card in December 2019, just three months after police were called to the family’s residence because Crimo III had been threatening to “kill everyone”
Police confiscated 16 knives, a dagger and a sword from the residence because the son was deemed a “clear and present danger,” though no arrests were made because family members refused to sign a complaint against him.
Crimo said he wasn’t living there at the time but that the threats were “taken out of context,” according to an interview the father did with ABC News.
However, according to police, Crimo told authorities the bladed weapons were his but were being kept in his son’s closet for storage. The knives were returned to the father the same day.
To get his son a FOID card, Crimo signed an affidavit agreeing to be “liable for any damages resulting from the minor applicant’s use of firearms or firearm ammunition.”
However, the permit was renewed after the son’s 21st birthday, when he was old enough to apply for the card himself, according to The Independent — though he wouldn’t have had to renew the original card until 2030.
Because of that, Robert Crimo III was able to purchase all of the weapons and register them in his own name, the father told ABC News.
“Do I regret that? No, not three years ago — signing a consent form to go through the process … that’s all it was,” Crimo told ABC News. “Had I purchased guns throughout the years and given them to him in my name, that’s a different story. But he went through that whole process himself.”
Still, some have put the blame on the suspect’s father for aiding his son’s process of getting the permit to begin with.
“They make me like I groomed him to do all this,” Crimo told the New York Post. “I’ve been here my whole life, and I’m gonna stay here, hold my head up high, because I didn’t do anything wrong.”
Illinois State Police Director Brendan Kelly said it wouldn’t be “appropriate” for law enforcement to weigh in on the issue now due to the ongoing investigation, though he added there was “insufficient basis” to deny Robert Crimo III a FOID card when he applied.
“There’s probably going to be civil litigation. There is ongoing criminal prosecution and criminal investigation,” Kelly told reporters Wednesday. “Issues of culpability, liability, who may have responsibility in certain circumstances, are all part and parcel of that process.”