Illinois man who helped son buy gun used in mass shooting pleads guilty

A memorial in Highland Park, Illinois, to victims of the July 4, 2022 parade shooting (Jim Vondruska)
A memorial in Highland Park, Illinois, to victims of the July 4, 2022 parade shooting (Jim Vondruska)

The father of an Illinois man accused of killing seven people during a US Independence Day parade pleaded guilty on Monday to "reckless conduct" for helping his son obtain the assault rifle used in the mass shooting.

Robert Crimo Jr, of Highland Park, had been set to go on trial on Monday in a rare case in which a parent was being held criminally responsible for the actions of their child.

Crimo Jr entered into a plea deal with prosecutors, however, just hours before the trial was scheduled to begin, the Lake County State's Attorney's office said.

Crimo Jr pleaded guilty to seven misdemeanor counts of reckless conduct for helping his son obtain a state firearms permit even though he knew he had a history of mental illness.

He was sentenced to 60 days in jail, two years of probation and 100 hours of community service.

Crimo's son, Robert Crimo III, was 19 at the time the gun was bought and he needed his father's sponsorship to get an Illinois Firearms Owner Identification Card.

During a July 4, 2022 parade in Highland Park, an affluent Chicago suburb, Crimo III 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 people dead and more than 30 others wounded.

He is to go on trial on murder, attempted murder and related charges.

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

The parents of a 15-year-old boy who killed four people at a high school in Oakland County, Michigan, in November 2021 have been charged for buying their son a gun even though they were aware of troubling signs he was a threat.