HIGHLAND PARK, Ill. (NewsNation) — The attorney for the parents of Robert E Crimo III said they were “completely in the dark” about the potential for their son to commit the crimes of which he’s accused.
Crimo is accused of the mass shooting at an Independence Day parade in suburban Chicago.
“They’re just as shocked by this turn of events as everyone else is,” said attorney Steve Greenberg, speaking Tuesday for the first time on “NewsNation Prime.”
Greenberg said he’s known the Crimos for 30 years and that they’re a “wonderful family.” Greenberg said the father, Bob Crimo, owned a local pantry and that he personally knew some of the victims of the shooting.
Lake County State’s Attorney Eric Rinehart announced Tuesday that Crimo has been charged with seven counts of first-degree murder. He said they are the “first of many charges to be filed.”
“It’s just a tragedy all the way around. Imagine waking up one day and knowing that your loved one goes to a parade and gets killed. Imagine waking up one day and knowing that your child may never get out of jail,” Greenberg said.
Crimo was known to authorities after two incidents in 2019, officials said. First, in April 2019, an individual contacted police, saying that Crimo had attempted suicide. Then in September, a family member reported to police that said Crimo threatened to “kill everyone” in the household.
Illinois State Police say Crimo’s father sponsored his son’s weapon purchase in December of 2019.
Authorities found an additional rifle in Crimo’s possession when he was arrested. Law enforcement later discovered more firearms at the 21-year-old’s residence. All of the weapons were legally purchased in Crimo’s name after the 2019 incidents.
“Then, in December of 2019, at the age of 19, the individual applied for a FOID card. The subject was under 21 and the application was sponsored by the subject’s father. Therefore, at the time of FOID application review in January of 2020, there was insufficient basis to establish a clear and present danger and deny the FOID application,” ISD said in a statement.
Greenberg told NewsNation that his clients dispute what police have said about their son being suicidal and threatening to kill them.
“I think the bigger issue here is why is a kid able to get a FOID card and then purchase a military assault weapon? I think that’s a bigger question that we should be asking ourselves. Not whether the family should have sponsored him to get a FOID card when there were no red flags and it was perfectly lawful,” Greenberg said.
Crimo’s parents deny that there were any red flags that their son was capable of the shooting.
“I don’t think anyone’s ever aware of any red flags that make them think that their son is gonna go out in their own community and start shooting people,” Greenberg said. “Had they seen any signs of it, I think they would have acted. They’re responsible parents.”
The suspect, who is from Highland Park, had been living in separate apartments in a duplex with his father Bob Crimo and uncle, Paul Crimo, the suspect’s uncle said on “Morning in America.” Paul Crimo said he didn’t know anything about his nephew’s weapon and didn’t watch the disturbing content Robert Crimo had posted online.
“The last two years, I saw no signs of trouble. He showed no aggressions toward me and no violent outbreak,” Paul Crimo said on “Morning in America.”