Highland Park shooter Robert “Bobby” Crimo III’s father Bob Crimo helped him buy guns months after police interviewed him after he threatened to “kill everyone” and confiscated more than a dozen knives and daggers from him but didn’t arrest him. The revelations were made as Bob Crimo and wife Denise Pesina broke their silence for the first time since the tragedy.
Bob Crimo and Denise Pesina offered their “thoughts and prayers” to the victims in a brief statement. The couple also said that there were “no red flags to report” although the police came to their family home twice in 2019 and interviewed their son for his unnatural behavior.
Bob Crimo and his wife Denise finally broke their silence on Wednesday after hiring a local attorney who had earlier expressed concern on Twitter over the powerful guns his new client had assisted his son in purchasing.
“We are all mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, and this is a terrible tragedy for many families, the victims, the paradegoers, the community, and our own. Our hearts, thoughts, and prayers go out to everybody,” the statement from the Crimo family read.
Their attorney, Steve Greenberg of Greenberg Trial Lawyers, also said the parents “request that all respect their privacy as they try to sort [through] this tragedy.”
The statement came as it emerged that Bob Crimo had sponsored his murderous son’s request for a weapons license in 2020, even after the killer had threatened to kill himself and his family just a few months back.
Police revealed on Tuesday that they had twice questioned Crimo in 2019 despite their earlier denials that they knew him. Being a troubled teen, both conversations were pretty disturbing.
The first interaction happened in April 2019 when police were called to their home after Robert Crimo threatened to commit suicide. Police said that officers met Robert Crimo but the matter was resolved amicably by mental health specialists.
The second interaction happened in September 2019, when police again questioned him after concerned family members reported to police that he had made death threats to his relative saying he would “kill everyone” in his family.
At that time police confiscated 16 knives, a dagger and a sword from Crimo’s home. The matter. However, he was not arrested and left as police said there were no reasons to arrest him then.
“There was no probable cause to arrest and no complaints assigned by the victims. They did notify the Illinois State Police,” police said.
However, the situation was serious, and the Illinois State Police received a report of a “clear and present danger” involving Robert Crimo’s family in the same month after he made death threats against both himself and his family.
At the time, Robert Crimo, who was just 19 years old. He was two years younger than the minimum age required by law to apply for a FOID card, which is required to lawfully purchase a firearm.
Nevertheless, Robert Crimo’s father sponsored him for a FOID card in December 2019, and it was issued a month later, in January 2020, despite the threats of murder-suicide.
Who Is to Be Blamed?
Authorities have claimed that they granted the permit because there was “insufficient basis” to label Robert Crimo a danger to himself or others. The only infraction on his file was an ordinance violation for tobacco possession in 2016.
That means Robert Crimo was able to lawfully purchase the gun used in the shooting on Tuesday.
Robert Crimo’s lawyer, Greenberg on Tuesday claimed that that Bob Crimo — a one-time mayoral candidate — only sponsored his son’s gun-buying spree because he had no idea about the threats or the collection of 16 knives, a dagger and a sword that were confiscated at the time.
The parents haven’t been charged but they have retained Greenberg. He appeared on NewsNation on Tuesday night to say that his clients Bob Crimo and Denise Pesina did nothing wrong or illegal and to refute police’s claims that they were twice called to the family home in 2019.
“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. Had they seen any signs of it, I think they would have acted. They’re responsible parents,” Greenberg said.
He also said that the family never felt that their son could pose any danger. “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,” he said.
“Had they seen any signs of it, I think they would have acted. They’re responsible parents,” he added.
This came as Robert Crimo appeared in front of the judge for the first time on Wednesday. He was charged with seven counts of first-degree murder and faces life in prison for each count.
Robert Crimo looked emotionless in the court and also in his first booking photos. In the booking photo, his dark hair is covering one of his eyes, and he is dressed in a black t-shirt. His neck and cheek tattoos are clearly visible.