4th of July parade shooting suspect escaped Illinois ‘red flag’ safeguards

HIGHLAND PARK, Illinois, July 5 (Reuters) – The man accused of killing seven people during a July 4 parade in the Chicago area escaped the safeguards of a “red flag” law of the Illinois designed to prevent people known to have violent tendencies from obtaining firearms, officials revealed Tuesday.

The revelations raised questions about the adequacy of the state’s ‘red flag’ laws even as a prosecutor called the system ‘strong’ at a news conference announcing seven first-degree murder charges against the 21-year-old suspect, Robert, E. Crimo III. Read more

Sergeant Chris Covelli of the Lake County Sheriff’s Office said earlier today that Crimo had legally purchased a total of five firearms, including the alleged murder weapon, despite attracting attention law enforcement twice for behavior suggesting he could harm himself or others.

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The first case was an April 2019 911 emergency call reporting that Crimo had attempted suicide, followed in September of that year by a police visit regarding alleged threats “to kill everyone” that it had been directed at family members, Covelli said.

According to Covelli, police responding to the second incident seized a collection of 16 knives, a dagger and a sword from Crimo’s home in Highland Park, Ill., the Chicago suburb where the shooting happened on Monday. But no arrests were made because authorities at the time did not have probable cause to take him into custody, the sheriff’s sergeant said.

“No complaint has been signed by any of the victims,” Covelli explained.

Later Tuesday, a separate statement from the Illinois State Police said the agency received a report from Highland Park Police stating that Crimo was a “clear and present danger” after the alleged threats against relatives in September 2019.

At the time, however, Crimo did not have a state “Firearms Owner Identification (FOID)” card that could be revoked or a pending FOID request to be denied. State police involvement in the case has therefore been closed, the agency said.

State police also said no parent or anyone else was willing “to file a formal complaint” or provide “threat or mental health information that would have allowed law enforcement to order to take further action”.


Three months later, at age 19, Crimo applied for his first FOID card, sponsored by his father. But because no firearms banning order or other legal action against Crimo had ever been sought, “there was no sufficient basis to establish a clear and present danger and dismiss the FOID claim. “, said the state police.

Crimo passed four background checks when purchasing its guns, all conducted in 2020 and 2021, well after the 2019 incidents that came to the attention of police, according to state police.

State police said the only offense detected in Crimo’s criminal history during background checks was illegal possession of tobacco in 2016, and that “no mental health prohibition reports” from healthcare providers of health never surfaced.

State police said when officers who attended the family’s home following Crimo’s alleged threats in September 2019, they asked him ‘if he wanted to hurt himself or hurt himself. to others”, and that “he answered ‘no'”.

“Additionally and most importantly, the father claimed the knives were his and were stored in (his son’s) closet for safekeeping,” state police said. “Based on this information, Highland Park Police returned the knives to the father later that afternoon.”

A number of U.S. politicians from both parties have called for more widespread enactment and enforcement of “red flag” laws, which typically allow courts to issue restraining orders authorizing authorities to confiscate firearms from individuals, or to prevent them from purchasing weapons, when they are deemed to pose a significant threat to themselves or others.

But Reinhart, the state attorney who charged Crimo on Tuesday, was unable to explain how Crimo could be allowed to legally obtain weapons without the alleged 2019 threat and “clear and present danger” report triggering the measures. state “red flag”.

Last month, Congress passed a nationwide gun reform bill that includes provisions to provide federal funding to states that administer red flag statutes.

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Reporting by Brendan O’Brien in Highland Park, Illinois, writing and additional reporting and Steve Gorman in Los Angeles; Editing by Robert Birsel

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