The father of the Highland Park shooting suspect accused of killing seven people at a Fourth of July parade is facing recklessness charges, prosecutors announced Friday.
Driving the news: Robert Crimo Jr. was arrested Friday on seven counts of felony reckless conduct, the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office said in a news release.
Details: Prosecutors allege that he was criminally reckless at the time that he helped his son, Robert Eugene Crimo III, obtain a Firearm Owners Identification (FOID) card.
Since his son was under the age of 21, he was unable to get the card without his father’s participation in the application process.
Helping his son obtain the FOID card, prosecutors said, was a “contributing cause to the bodily harm suffered by the homicide victims in the mass shooting.”
Of note: Highland Park police have said they were called twice to the Crimo home in 2019 — once for a suicide attempt and another after Robert Eugene Crimo III threatened his family.
After those two incidents, Robert Eugene Crimo III was still able to legally obtain a FOID card — sponsored by his father — and purchase five firearms.
What they’re saying: “Parents and guardians are in the best position to decide whether their teenager should have a weapon. They are the first line of defense,” Lake County State’s Attorney Eric Rinehart said at a press conference Friday.
“In this case, that system failed when Robert Crimo Jr. sponsored his son. He knew what he knew, and he signed the form anyway.”
The other side: Crimo Jr. has previously denied any responsibility over the shooting.
His attorney, George Gomez, told CNN that the charges are “baseless and unprecedented.”
“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,” Gomez said.