Confessed Highland Park shooter Robert Crimo III admitted to cops three years ago that he was a depressed teenage drug user when quizzed about threatening to “kill everyone” in his family, newly released documents show.
A Highland Park police report details why the then-18-year-old alleged shooter was flagged as a “clear and present danger” in 2019 — just a few months before his dad helped him start amassing the arsenal he allegedly used to kill seven and injure dozens at his local Fourth of July parade.
It notes that officers were called to his Highland Park home at 10 a.m. Sept. 5 for a well-being check after a relative said “Robert stated he was going to kill everyone.“
That relative — whose identity was redacted — “was afraid to go home due to the nature of the threat” and the fact that there was “a collection of knives in his bedroom,” the report released Wednesday notes.
Police quizzed the then-18-year-old Crimo in front of his mother, Denise Pesina, and he “admitted to being depressed … and having a history of drug use,” the redacted report said. It did not detail what drugs he used at the time.
However, despite one of their relatives being too terrified to return home, the depressed teen and his mother were “not forthcoming as to the language he used,” the responding officers noted.
The cops also spoke to Crimo’s dad, Robert Crimo Jr., who immediately said that “the collection of knives belong to him,” the report said.
“Robert Crimo [Jr.] then agreed to hand over the collection of 16 knives that were being stored in a tin can lunch box, along with a 12-inch dagger and a 24-inch Samurai-type blade in Robert E. Crimo III’s bedroom closet,” the report said. The dad picked the weapons up from the precinct just four hours after the initial call, the report noted.
With his mother still present, Crimo — who had previously threatened suicide — was “asked if he felt like harming himself or others,” the report noted, with “Robert answering No.”
Still, the local police report noted that “a Clear and Present Danger form was filled out and faxed” to Illinois State Police.
It notes that such declarations are “to identify persons who, if granted access to a firearm or firearm ammunition pose an actual, imminent threat of substantial bodily harm to themselves or another person[s] that is articulable and significant or who will likely act in a manner dangerous to public interest.”
State police investigated under the state’s red-flag laws that would allow them to take away weapons or bar active applications to get them.
But Crimo “did not have a FOID [firearm owner’s identification card] card or pending application” at the time, leaving no weapons for state police to take, Illinois State Police said in a separate update Wednesday.
Because “both the individual and his mother disputed the threat of violence,” Crimo “told police he did not feel like hurting himself or others” and his dad claimed the knives were his, “there was no probable cause to arrest,” the state force said.
“Upon review of the report at that time, the reviewing officer concluded there was insufficient information for a Clear and Present Danger determination.”
It meant there was nothing barring Crimo from buying guns in the future — which he applied to do just two months later, with his dad’s help.
His FOID card application “included a parental legal guardian affidavit signed by the father of the individual applying,” the state force said, adding that Crimo had “no firearms prohibitor” at the time.
“At the time of FOID application approval for the individual in question there was no new information to establish a clear and present danger, no arrests, no prohibiting criminal records, no mental health prohibitors, no orders of protection, no other disqualifying prohibitors and no Firearms Restraining Order,” the state force insisted.
“The available evidence would have been insufficient for law enforcement to seek a Firearms Restraining Order from a court.”
Crimo, now 21, would go on to buy at least five guns, including the Smith & Wesson M&P 15 semi-automatic rifle he allegedly used to fire more than 80 rounds at parade-goers Monday, killing seven and injuring dozens more.
A Kel Tec Sub2000 was found in his car after his arrest, and a Remington 700, a shotgun and a Glock 43 were recovered from his home, officials said.
Despite sponsoring his son, the killer’s dad told The Post in an exclusive interview Wednesday that he had “zero” responsibility for his son’s deadly attack.
“He bought everything on his own, and they’re registered to him,” the dad said of his son’s weapons.
“You know, he drove there, he ordered them, he picked them up, they did his background check on each one,” said Crimo Jr..
He dismissed his son’s 2019 threat as a “childish outburst,” and likened the sword and knives that were briefly confiscated at the time to his own previous collection of “coins and baseball cards.”
Crimo has been hit with seven first-degree murder charges, which would bring a mandatory life sentence without the possibility of parole.
“There will be many, many more charges coming,” said Lake County State’s Attorney Eric Rinehart, vowing to bring attempted murder and aggravated battery charges for each individual who was hurt.
Some of the wounded remained hospitalized in critical condition and the death toll could still rise, police warned.