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Father of alleged Highland Park parade attacker charged

CHICAGO (NewsNation) — The father of a man accused of killing seven people and wounding dozens more in a shooting at an Independence Day parade in suburban Chicago was charged Friday with sevent counts of reckless conduct, according to the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office.   

An attorney for Bob Crimo, the father of 21-year-old Robert “Bobby” Crimo III, told NewsNation on the day after the shooting that his client was “completely in the dark” about the potential for their son to commit the crimes of which he’s accused.

Crimo III, faces 117 felony counts for the attack and has pleaded not guilty.

Authorities were called to the home of the shooting suspect’s parents numerous times between 2010 and 2014, according to police records released days after the attack.

Most of the nine incidents documented by Highland Park police involved allegations of verbal or physical altercations between the suspect’s parents, Bob Crimo and Denise Pesina. The incidents were first reported by the Chicago Tribune.

Crimo III had come to law enforcement’s attention on two prior occasions in 2019 for alleged behavior suggesting he might harm himself or others, authorities said earlier this week.

Police first responded in April to a suicide attempt. That matter was handled by mental health professionals, according to Lake County Major Crime Task Force spokesman Christopher Covelli.

If you or someone you know is thinking of harming themself, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides free support at 1-800-273-8255. As of July 16, 2022, U.S. residents can also be connected to the Lifeline by dialing 988. For more about risk factors and warning signs, visit the organization’s official website.

Five months later, a family member called police saying he threatened to “kill everyone” in the home. State Police said officers found knives during the call, but they turned them over to the father, who was the owner.

Illinois State Police said they received a “clear and present danger” report after the alleged knife incident in 2019, but after Crimo’s father claimed the knives were his, he declined to move forward with a complaint. State Police said there was no probable cause to make an arrest.

Just months after the alleged knife incident, Crimo’s father sponsored his son’s gun license in December 2019, State Police said. Crimo III was 19 years old at the time. He later passed four different background checks between June 2020 and September 2021, according to State Police.

NewsNation reporter Katie Smith contributed to this report.