Shooter’s dad said he talked to son about mass shooting night before massacre, absolves himself of guilt: ‘I didn’t do anything wrong’

Robert Crimo Jr., the father of the suspected Highland Park shooter, says he bears no responsibility for his son’s actions despite having sponsored the young man’s Firearm Owners Identification (FOID) card.

“He bought everything on his own, and they’re registered to him. You know, he drove there, he ordered them, he picked them up, they did his background check on each one,” Crimo Jr. told the New York Post.

“They make me like I groomed him to do all this. 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,” he added.

To legally possess firearms or ammunition in the state of Illinois, residents “must have a Firearm Owners Identification (FOID) card, which is issued by the Illinois State Police to any qualified applicant,” according to state police’s Firearms Services Bureau.

The Washington Post notes that when Crimo Jr.’s son, Robert Crimo III, applied for a FOID card in December of 2019, he “was under 21 at the time.”

This meant that state law “required him to have the consent of a parent or guardian before he could own a firearm or ammunition.”

“According to state police, which issues the cards, Crimo’s father sponsored the permit application,” the Post notes.

Crimo Jr. did so despite the police having been summoned to the family’s home twice earlier that year because of his son’s behavior.

The first call occurred in April after his son made a suicide attempt, and the second call occurred in September — only three months before Crimo Jr. sponsored his son’s FOID card — after Crimo III threatened to kill his entire family.

The second incident led to a sword, a dagger, and 15 knives being confiscated.

Crimo Jr. dismissed the second incident as a “childish outburst” and even defended his son’s “collection” of various weapons.

“You know, I used to collect coins and baseball cards,” he dismissively said to the Post.

Crimo Jr. also revealed that the night before the mass shooting, he had a discussion with his son about a mass shooting in Denmark that had occurred earlier that day: “He goes, ‘Yeah, that guy is an idiot.’ That’s what he said! ‘People like that … [commit mass shootings] to amp up the people that want to ban all guns.'”

Yet the following morning, his son allegedly committed a mass shooting of his own, killing seven people in the process.

“I talked to him 13 hours before [Monday’s massacre]. That’s why I guess I’m in such shock. … Like, did he have a psychiatric break or something?” Crimo Jr. said.

That being said, now that his son is a suspected mass killer, he and his wife are “devastated,” “floored,” and “furious,” he told the Post.

“I want a long sentence. That’s life. You know, you have consequences for actions. 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,” he said.

“I’m speechless with that. It just took me by such surprise. It’s horrible. It’s surreal. I mean essentially I lost a son, too. It sucks,” he added.

The emerging response to both Crimo Jr.’s remarks and his alleged culpability in his son obtaining firearms has been anger, disgust, and a desire to see him also charged and arrested:

Part of the anger stems from this family’s insistence that Crimo III had seemed perfectly fine and normal prior to Monday’s shooting.

Everybody else has said the opposite, including the young man’s former classmates.

“Some people had a feeling. If you look at his YouTube and his Instagram, it foreshadowed this happening in a way. My friends and I were looking at it before they took (the accounts) down. … He had pictures that he drew on his YouTube of getting shot by the police and shooting at people,” one classmate told the Lake County News-Sun.

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