Parents of man charged in July 4 massacre are cooperating with authorities, attorney says

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CHICAGO — An attorney who represents the parents of the man charged with murder in the Highland Park mass shooting on the Fourth of July said they have been cooperating with the law enforcement investigation of the shooting.

In response to concerns that Robert “Bobby” Crimo III’s father sponsored him for a firearm owner’s identification card, attorney George Gomez said, “We still take the position at the time the father (Robert Crimo Jr.) consented to the FOID application, that he was not aware that the son was a danger to anyone else or himself.”

Also, regarding police being called to multiple previous domestic altercations, Gomez told the Tribune, “I don’t know how any domestic violence from … years ago are related to any motive the child would have had.”

Police reports show that officers were called to the alleged shooter’s family home nine times between 2010 and 2014 in response to domestic altercations involving the parents, Robert Crimo Jr. and Denise Pesina. Records showed neither had been charged with domestic violence in Lake County.

In 2019, Highland Park police reports stated that officers were called to domestic cases involving the family and were told Crimo III had tried to kill himself with a machete and threatened to kill “everyone.”

Crimo III denied it, and no charges were filed.

Local police reported Crimo III to Illinois State Police as a “clear and present danger,” but state police approved his application for a FOID card, with his father’s sponsorship in December 2019.

Crimo’s father told ABC News he was shocked and felt “horrible” about the shooting, but had “no regret” over helping his son get access to guns.

Gomez, a criminal defense attorney based in Libertyville, said he couldn’t comment on whether the parents were being investigated for possible culpability in the deaths.

“The parents are looking for an answer just as much as everybody else why the son had (allegedly) committed these actions,” Gomez said.

Prosecutors also would not shed light on what might happen with the parents.

“We’re still in the middle of a lot of investigative work,” Lake County state’s attorney’s office spokesman Steve Spagnolo said. “We can’t comment about it at this point.”

The Tribune also submitted a request for an interview with State’s Attorney Eric Rinehart.