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Dad of parade ‘shooter’ reveals chilling conversation with son before attack

ACCUSED Highland Park shooter Robert Crimo III’s dad has revealed the chilling conversation he had with his son hours before the July 4 massacre.

Robert Crimo Jr had discussed the Copenhagen mall shooting on Sunday night with his son, Robert “Bobby” Crimo III, who allegedly went on to kill seven and injure more than two dozen others during a Fourth of July parade the very next day.

Bobby Crimo is facing seven counts of first-degree murder in the Highland Park massacre

Bobby Crimo is facing seven counts of first-degree murder in the Highland Park massacreCredit: AP:Associated Press
Robert Crimo Jr spoke about the Copenhagen mall shooting with his son on Sunday

Robert Crimo Jr spoke about the Copenhagen mall shooting with his son on SundayCredit: Facebook

Speaking to the New York Post, Crimo Jr said he discussed the shooter in the Copenhagen incident with Bobby.

“Yeah, that guy is an idiot,” Crimo Jr recalled Bobby saying of the shooter.

“People like that … [commit mass shootings] to amp up the people that want to ban all guns,” he said Bobby added.

Crimo Jr says the conversation happened about 13 hours before the Highland Park massacre.

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“That’s why I guess I’m in such shock,” Crimo Jr told the Post.

“Like, did he have a psychiatric break or something?”

‘HE BOUGHT EVERYTHING ON HIS OWN’

Crimo Jr, who ran an unsuccessful campaign to become Mayor of Highland Park, sponsored his son’s application to own firearms just three months after Bobby threatened to kill members of his family.

Officials have said that one of the guns Bobby bought after receiving his firearm owners identification card was an AR-15 used in Monday’s mass shooting.

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Crimo Jr insisted to the Post that he sponsored the card because he thought his son would use the firearms at a shooting range.

“He bought everything on his own, and they’re registered to him,” the dad said of Bobby’s weapons.

“You know, he drove there, he ordered them, he picked them up, they did his background check on each one.”

Crimo Jr further insisted that he had “zero” involvement in the mass shooting, and has been attempting to distance himself from his son, according to the Post.

“They make me like I groomed him to do all this,” he said of people who have been lashing out at him.

“I’ve been here my whole life, and I’m gonna stay here, hold my head up high, because I didn’t do anything wrong.”

‘I WANT A LONG SENTENCE’

The father has been speaking to various media outlets claiming he is “a caretaker for the home,” and not Bobby’s dad, according to the Post.

“I want a long sentence,” he said, speaking of the charges against his son.

“That’s life. You know you have consequences for actions.

“He made a choice. He didn’t have to do that.

“I think there’s mental illness there, obviously … I didn’t see a lot of it.”

Of the victims, Crimo Jr said: “I’m speechless with that.”

“It just took me by such surprise. It’s horrible.

“It’s surreal. I mean essentially I lost a son, too. It sucks.” 

THE FAMILY SPEAKS OUT

After retaining a lawyer, Robert Crimo III’s parents, Crimo Jr and Denise Pesina, initially broke their silence in a statement late Tuesday.

“We are all mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, and this is a terrible tragedy for many families, the victims, the paradegoers, the community, and our own,” it read through their lawyer Steve Greenberg.

“Our hearts, thoughts and prayers go out to everybody.”

Greenberg also stated that the Crimos “request that all respect their privacy as they try to sort [through] this tragedy.”

The day before, however, Greenberg went on a tirade following the news of the mass shooting.

“This is my hometown where I grew up and raised my kids. WTF is wrong with people. No one needs these high powered weapons!!!!!” he wrote.

Greenberg stood by his words when it was revealed that his new clients were the suspect’s parents.

“And I stand behind this tweet. No one needs to own these weapons and no one should sell them.”

Greenberg is the former attorney of rapper R Kelly, who was sentenced last week to 30 years in prison.

‘NO WARNING SIGNS’

Paul Crimo recalled seeing his nephew, Bobby, dressed in girl’s clothing about a year before the 22-year-old allegedly fired 70 shots into a crowded parade – but he didn’t understand why.

“I’m shocked … It’s too much to process,” Paul said from his car – hours after it emerged that a seventh victim had died as a result of the Independence Day shooting in Illinois.

“There were no warning signs. Nothing that I saw.”

Paul said he didn’t know why Robert dressed as a woman and still doesn’t understand why he would open fire on a crowd of innocent bystanders.

When asked if he had a message for anyone who was reading, Crimo’s grief-stricken uncle apologized to the families who were impacted.

“I feel bad for all the families. My thoughts and prayers are with all the families,” he said.

“I’m heartbroken for all of them. I’ll forever be heartbroken.”

Paul Crimo added that he knew Robert had YouTube and social media accounts but didn’t know the content of what was on them.

PARADE PANIC

Shots rang out in Highland Park, Illinois, on the Fourth of July as families gathered to watch the yearly parade.

What started as a celebration of freedom, quickly became a scene of terror as the sound of gunfire reached bystanders.

Seven people were killed by a shooter who police say took a sniper stance on a nearby rooftop before opening fire on the crowd below.

A warrant was issued for Robert Crimo III, a 22-year-old who was declared a person of interest in the mass shooting and was arrested at about 7pm local time on July 4.

The police uncovered a high-powered rifle at the scene of the crime that was determined to have been bought legally.

Police reported Robert had planned the attack over several weeks and Lake County Major Crime Task Force spokesman Chris Covelli said at a press conference that they believe Robert disguised himself as a woman to flee the scene.

He blended right in with everybody else as they were running around, almost as if he was an innocent spectator as well,” Covelli said.

On July 5, 2022, Robert was charged with seven counts of first-degree murder by the authorities, The Hill reports.

Eric Rinehart, the Lake County state’s attorney, was the person to announce the charges.

Rinehart anticipates that there will be “dozens” of additional charges against Robert Crimo III.

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He also called the tragedy a “premeditated and calculated attack.”

“The loss of life and these devastating injuries and the overwhelming psychological trauma demand we seek justice and that we take broader action to protect life,” he said.