He may have signed the consent form his son used to get ownership of the gun he used to shoot people during the Independence Day attack, but Bobby Crimo Jr. does not see how he is culpable in his son's crime.
Crimo told the media he did not have "an inkling" or a "warning" that this would happen. He was "shocked" by the attack his son Robert "Bobby" Crimo III carried out during the Fourth of July parade.
Crimo and his wife had asked the young man if he had plans for the holiday. He had told them "no."
The night before the deadly attack, he had spent almost an hour with his son in his yard. They were in a "great mood" and talked about the planet.
Crimo did not consider his son a danger to anyone. The authorities, however, have revealed that Crimo III once threatened violence.
In 2019, the police confiscated 16 knives, a sword, and a dagger from Crimo III's home when a family member called them, saying he had threatened to "kill everyone."
Crimo III is currently facing seven counts of first-degree murder. According to Eric Rinehard, Lake County State's Attorney, the number of charges he will face is expected to increase.
He has already admitted to having committed the massacre. He did not enter a plea during his bond hearing on Wednesday.
His father said the threats to the family in the 2019 incident were "taken out of context." As far as Crimo is concerned, it was "just like a child's outburst."
However, he was not living in the house when his son made the threats, although he knew that his sister had called the police. After the authorities arrived, they removed his knives from his home and did not open a criminal investigation.
Still, later that year, Crimo signed an affidavit that allowed his son to get a Firearm Owners Identification (FOID) Card, which is necessary when buying firearms and ammunition in the state of Illinois:
"I filled out the consent form to allow my son to go through the process that the Illinois State Police have in place for an individual to obtain a FOID card. They do background checks. Whatever that entails, I'm not exactly sure. And either you're approved or denied, and he was approved."
The police announced that there would be an investigation into Crimo's culpability since he sponsored his son when he was applying for a firearm owner identification card in 2019.
He has made it clear that he does not regret what he did and is also not worried about any potential legal consequences because his son "went through that whole process himself."
Crimo said he had bought the weapons with his own money and that they were registered in his name.
He learned that his son had a firearm collection when he showed off his "Glock handgun," which he had bought on his 21st birthday. Crimo told him, "Oh, looks nice."
Crimo III's FOID card was renewed in 2021, and the father was not involved in the process.
Crimo does not know why his son decided to commit the crime and would like to ask him about it when he finally sees him. However, he does not feel that anything justifies what he did:
"Whatever was going on in his head at the time … to go kill and hurt innocent people is just senseless."
Crimo was also sorry for the families affected by his son's crimes.
Crimo III killed seven people and injured several others. This is something his father thinks about all the time.
Some of the people who got injured in the attack are known to Crimo personally.
Before the shooting, Crimo III had left many disturbing photos online, some of which depicted shootings.
He also had over 16,000 monthly listeners on Spotify as an amateur rapper. The last music he released had a cartoon character aiming for a gun.
His father Crimo learned about the online content after the incident. He considered his son an "artist," although he did not understand his craft.
When he saw some of his work, he would think it was not his son since he understood he was acting.
He also dispelled rumors that his son suffered abuse at home and said he and his wife were "very much against it." Crimo went as far as saying that his son "had good morals."
"This isn't Bobby," he said in reference to his recent actions. "It doesn't add up."
At the moment, Crimo III is in custody without bond. He is set to appear in court for a preliminary hearing on July 28.
In Crimo's opinion, the whole system should be overhauled to ensure that these kinds of tragedies don't keep happening. He feels that something needs to be done, whether that involves changing laws or guidelines because "this country is our problem."