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CHICAGO (CBS) — The suspect in Monday’s deadly mass shooting in Highland Park threatened to “kill everyone” with knives and swords in 2019, which raises the question of how Crimo was able to obtain a FOID card in 2020.
CBS 2 Investigator Megan Hickey has been digging into that part of the investigation.
The suspect was armed with two high-powered rifles that day, authorities said; one that was recovered at the scene, and a second that was discovered in his mother’s borrowed car that he was driving when he was arrested.
Police also recovered at least three other firearms in his Highwood home, including handguns and possibly a shotgun.
All of those firearms were purchased legally in the Chicagoland area, according to investigators.
The Lake County Sheriff’s Office said Bobby Crimo has had a valid FOID card since 2020, which would have made him about 18 or 19 years old — the earliest you can apply for a FOID card in the state of Illinois.
In 2019, police said a family member reported Crimo was exhibiting concerning behavior.
“Crimo said he was going to kill everyone and Crimo had a collection of knives. The police responded to his residence. The police removed 16 knives, a dagger and a sword from Crimo’s home. At that time, there was no probable cause to arrest. There were no complaints that were assigned by any of the victims,” said Chris Covelli, spokesman for the Lake County Major Crimes Task Force
But Illinois State Police were notified of that incident. When asked how Crimo was still able to successful apply for a FOID card – this was the response from ISP.
“He didn’t have a pending application (at the time of the 2019 incident) so there was nothing to review at that time when we got that notification. We didn’t know a few months later something else would happen,” said Illinois State Police Master Sgt. Delilah Garcia
The high-powered rifle recovered at the scene shot “high velocity rounds,” similar to an AR -15, investigators said. Police on Tuesday said approximately 45 people were shot, including seven who died.
The city of Highland Park did enact a ban on assault rifles in 2013, which was challenged legally — all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which ultimately passed on hearing the case, allowing the ban to remain in place.
“If a ban on semiautomatic guns and large capacity magazines reduces the perceived risk from a mass shooting, and makes the public feel safer as a result, that’s a substantial benefit,” the Supreme Court’s ruling stated.
The ban regulates “the possession or ownership of assault weapons” in the city, but it doesn’t say anything about regulation or anything about people bringing guns from outside cities — like Highwood, where Crimo lives.
The ban carries a punishment of up to 6 months prison time or fines for violations of the ordinance.
There are still plenty of questions about how the shooter was able to transport the weapon to the parade route unnoticed.
Investigators said the women’s clothing that he was wearing may have helped him conceal it, but they’re still hammering out those details.