Highland Park begins slow healing process after mass shooting

Reports released by the City of Highland Park through a Freedom of Information Act request shed further light on previous contact police had with July 4th parade shooting suspect Bobby Crimo.

An April 29, 2019, report on a wellbeing check on Crimo, then 18, indicated that he had a history of suicide attempts and had attempted suicide by machete the week before. A complaint and the alleged suicide attempt were handled by mental health professionals, and police were sent a week later as a result of a “delayed third party complaint.” There were no threats of harm made by Crimo against himself or others on the day police were contacted, the report said.

Read the documents

Police came to the Crimo family home again on Sept. 5, 2019, according to another report. An officer reported that Crimo had said he had made a threat to the household and said he was going to “kill everyone.” The report was partially redacted, but there was reference to someone reporting they were afraid to go home because of the threat, and to a collection of knives in a bedroom.

Officers talked with Crimo and his mother, and Crimo admitted to being depressed three days earlier and to having a history of drug use the report said. The report said Crimo was “not forthcoming as to the language that he used on Monday, nor was his mother.”

Police said they learned the knives belonged to Crimo’s father, who agreed to turn over a collection of 16 knives that were stored in a tin can lunch box, a 12-inch dagger, and a 24-inch Samurai-type blade that was stored in the younger Crimo’s bedroom for safe keeping, the report said.

The younger Crimo was asked if he felt like harming himself or others and he said no, the report said. Crimo was told to contact police if he needed their assistance, or medical assistance, the report said.

The report said a Clear and Present Danger form was submitted to Illinois State Police at that point.

A Clear and Present Danger restriction requires a preponderance of evidence that a FOID applicant poses a danger – which is a higher burden than probable cause, Illinois State Police Director Brendan Kelly explained earlier Wednesday. State Police said in Crimo’s case, both Crimo and his mother disputed the threat of violence and Crimo told police did not feel like hurting himself or others. State Police also noted that the Highland Park police report indicated that the knives belonged to Crimo’s father and they were turned over to him.

“As stated by Highland Park Police, there was no probable cause to arrest,” state police said in a news release “Upon review of the report at that time, the reviewing officer concluded there was insufficient information for a Clear and Present Danger determination.”  

Kelly further emphasized that between the time of Crimo’s September 2019 encounter with police and the point three months later when Crimo filed for a FOID card, “there was nothing new in between.”

“So from the time of that report, knowing that information, there was nothing new that changed anything about what was in that report. Again, no new arrests. No new confrontations with law enforcement. No new crime committed. No new order of protection. No new firearms restraining order. So there was nothing that added to that at the time the decision was made to issue the FOID card,” Kelly said. “So again, having nothing change from that original report in the interim, there was no circumstance where that original Clear and Present Danger report would have impacted the decision at that point the FOID card was issued.”