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Father of July 4 mass shooter charged with helping him obtain gun

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This booking photo released by authorities in Illionis shows July 4 shooting suspect Robert Crimo./AFP
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Feb 17, 2023 - 08:40 AM

WASHINGTON — The father of an Illinois man who shot seven people dead from a rooftop during a July 4th parade last year has been charged with helping his son obtain the assault rifle used in the shooting.

Robert Crimo Sr. was charged with seven felony counts of reckless conduct for helping his son Robert Crimo Jr. obtain an state firearms permit though he knew he had a history of mental illness.

Crimo Jr, now 22, was 19 at the time the gun was purchased and needed his father’s sponsorship to get an Illinois Firearms Owner Identification Card.

Before the purchase in 2019, police and mental health professionals were called in twice to their suburban Chicago home over episodes of violence and threatened suicide by Crimo Jr, according to police records.

Last year during a July 4th parade in Highland Park, an affluent Chicago suburb, Crimo Jr. disguised himself in women’s clothing and climbed up on a rooftop to open fire on the crowd below, shooting scores of rounds and leaving seven dead and more than 30 others wounded.

He has been charged with 117 counts of murder, attempted murder and related charges.

On Wednesday state prosecutors filed charges against Crimo Sr., saying he should also be punished for his role in obtaining the weapon.

“Parents who are reckless when they help their kids get weapons of war are morally and legally responsible for the harm that follows,” said Lake County State’s Attorney Eric Rinehart.

“We will continue to seek justice for the victims and prosecute those who endanger the community.”

Amid a huge number of deadly firearms incidents involving young people and children, pressure is mounting in the United States to punish parents who make it possible for young killers to get weapons.

The parents of a 15-year-old who killed four at a high school in Oakland County Michigan in November 2021 have been charged with allowing their son access to the weapon, although they were aware of troubling signs their son was a threat.

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