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Red flags missed: How July 4 have a suspicion slipped into and not here of system

Red flags missed: How July 4 have a suspicion slipped into with every one other accompanied by not here of system

Illinois' "red-flag" rules with every one other accompanied by regulations could have stopped, or at least slowed down, the have a suspicion inside the Independence Day parade shooting from actuality intelligent to buy the firearm he is accused of using to kill septet people accompanied by every one one other accompanied by wound dozens more.

Police inside the Chicago suburb of Highland Park were called twice to the place of residence of Robert Crimo III inside 2019 — on one instance following he tried to commit self-destruction accompanied by every one one other accompanied by on one instance additional when he allegedly threatened to "kill everyone" inside his family. On either occasion, they could have unswerving away exercised small part of the rules with every one other accompanied by regulations that allowed them to seek a restraining order to place an extremity to Crimo from buying guns for anywhere from 14 days to sextet months.

Obtaining such a delay could have bought critical hour dated for police to seek additional details to inquire a judge for a longer order preventing a firearm purchase.

But Highland Park police did not seek such an order, accompanied by every one one other accompanied by they were not required to do so. And fair quartet months following the reported threat that prompted officers to seize 16 knives, a sword accompanied by every one one other accompanied by a dagger from Crimo's home, Illinois State Police approved him for a firearms permit. The agency explained the decision inside small part by saying that it didn't exist convinced by concerning him a "clear accompanied by every one one other accompanied by inside attendance danger" since he didn't exist convinced by concerning himself such a danger.

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"When police went to the place of residence accompanied by every one one other accompanied by asked the individual if he felt exist fond of harming himself or others, he responded no," the condition police said inside a statement this week, adding "importantly" that Crimo's father assured officers that the collection of knives seized from the place of residence was his accompanied by every one one other accompanied by would exist stored safely.

That fateful decision inside early 2020 to matter the then-19-year-old Crimo a firearms permit allowed him to legally buy five guns, including the Smith & Wesson semi-automatic rummage authorities speak he used from his rooftop perch to unleash additional than 80 rounds on a Fourth of July parade below.

The episode highlights how, flat inside a condition accompanied by some of the nation's most restrictive firearm laws, opportunities tin exist missed to retain weapons from dangerous accompanied by every one one other accompanied by disturbed people. While the authorities who crossed paths accompanied by Crimo contend their hands were tied by the law, some people familiar accompanied by Illinois' statutes told The Associated Press there were additional than sufficient ways to chunk him from getting guns.

"Laws don't signify a a large amount of unless they're followed," said Sean Holihan, the condition legislative director for Giffords, a firearm safety advocacy group. "This fell into with every one other accompanied by not here of the cracks. The rules with every one other accompanied by regulations was written to build sure this wouldn't occur accompanied by every one one other accompanied by it still did."

Added Nicholas Suplina, older vice president for rules with every one other accompanied by regulations accompanied by every one one other accompanied by policy at Everytown for Gun Safety: "Red-flag laws are designed for precisely this type of situation. ... It's an important tool inside the firearm violence prevention toolbox. But you got to lay clasp of the tool not here accompanied by every one one other accompanied by use it."

A tool Highland Park police did build use of, they said, was the "clear accompanied by every one one other accompanied by inside attendance danger" report filed accompanied by the condition following their place of set of two visits to his place of residence inside 2019. Such reports are intended to alert condition police to people who, if allowed to buy a gun, may constitute an "imminent threat of substantial bodily wound to themselves or others."

Highland Park police did not respond to requests for comment.

Crimo's warning signs excessively included a voluminous accompanied by every one one other accompanied by disturbing communal media footprint that went spine years accompanied by every one one other accompanied by by some means escaped rules with every one other accompanied by regulations enforcement scrutiny inside malice of the fact that the aspiring rapper had thousands of followers on YouTube accompanied by every one one other accompanied by songs on Spotify that collectively had millions of plays.

Stick-thin, dark-haired accompanied by every one one other accompanied by laboriously tattooed on his nape accompanied by every one one other accompanied by face, Crimo went by the phase name Awake the Rapper accompanied by every one one other accompanied by left-hand a series of clues inside his videos of a fascination accompanied by violence, guns accompanied by every one one other accompanied by suicide. One video titled "Toy Soldier" showed a cartoon figure brandishing a rummage on a city street, followed by drawings of a victim's mammary gland spurting gore accompanied by every one one other accompanied by police cars closing in.

In online talk rooms that reveled inside pile murder accompanied by every one one other accompanied by gore, Crimo apparently excessively posted video of a beheading accompanied by every one one other accompanied by grainy report footage of a politician's infamous condition suicide.

"Like a sleepwalker … I know what I have to do," Crimo narrated inside another rap video posted late last year. "Everything has led up to this. Nothing tin place an extremity to me, flat myself."

"We were not made aware of these videos," Christopher Covelli, deputy leader of the Lake County Sheriff's Office, told reporters.

For its part, Illinois State Police defended the issuance of a firearm permit for Crimo, noting that Highland Park police had declined to arrest the teen following his alleged threat inside September 2019 since they could not meet the legal hurdle of "probable cause." To deny a firearm permit, they said, requires an flat higher legal standard — "preponderance of evidence" — that he is a understandable accompanied by every one one other accompanied by inside attendance danger.

State police excessively noted inside a statement that flat though an unidentified family subscriber reported the threat accompanied by every one one other accompanied by spoke of a extreme terror of returning home, family members denied Crimo was dangerous accompanied by every one one other accompanied by didn't want to press charges.

"When police went to the house, both the individual accompanied by every one one other accompanied by his mother disputed the threat of violence. The individual told police he did not exist inside be in touch exist fond of hurting himself or others accompanied by every one one other accompanied by was offered intellectual health resources," the statement said.

Several months before, inside April 2019, Crimo attempted to commit self-destruction by machete, according to a police report obtained by AP that noted a "history of attempts." Other police reports show officers had visited the Crimo place of residence regularly over the years for domestic violence disputes accompanied by every one one other accompanied by other incidents.

Several experts described Crimo while the epitome of a "clear accompanied by every one one other accompanied by inside attendance danger," defined under Illinois rules with every one other accompanied by regulations while a anthropoid actuality who "communicates a solemn threat of physical violence" or "demonstrates menacing physical or verbal behavior."

But others weren't so sure, noting that police are restricted inside how a a large amount of they tin lay clasp of deed when an accuser reporting brutal threats doesn't want to press charges accompanied by every one one other accompanied by family members are uncooperative.

Even if an order had been issued, it's not a specified that a judge would have extended the order on the a lengthy way side of sextet months.

Robert Berlin, condition attorney for DuPage County, the most operative issuer of red-flag orders inside Illinois, said that the dozens of cases he's overseen almost always include family members assisting investigators.

And while Berlin declined to remark on Highland Park police actions, he said that he couldn't recall a red-flag order at some hour dated issued inside his county opposed to someone who was not by that hour dated inside ownership of a firearm accompanied by every one one other accompanied by was aimed solely at blocking future purchases.

After receiving his permit inside January 2020, Crimo passed quartet background checks when buying firearms that year accompanied by every one one other accompanied by the next, the condition police noted, adding that the only offense that surfaced inside his criminal history was a 2016 ordinance contravention for ownership of tobacco.

Crimo, now 21, was arrested following disguising himself inside women's clothing to build his escape. He now faces septet counts of first-degree murder. While investigators speak he confessed to targeting paradegoers, they have not determined a motive.

Katherine Schweit, a former FBI agent who spearheaded the agency's operative shooter program, said Crimo's instance underscores how difficult it tin exist to place an extremity to such shootings, flat accompanied by prosperity of warning signs.

"It's uncomplicated to see inside the rearview looking glassware all of the pieces that bind accompanied by every one one other to an individual who clearly was on a trajectory inside the way of violence," Schweit said.

But nobody was intelligent to place it all together. ... Police accompanied by every one one other accompanied by schools accompanied by every one one other accompanied by friends accompanied by every one one other accompanied by neighbors handled one tiny small part of this at a time."

___ Condon reported from New York accompanied by every one one other accompanied by Mustian from New Orleans. News researcher Rhonda Shafner inside New York excessively contributed.

___

Contact AP's worldwide investigative team at Investigative@ap.org or https://www.ap.org/tips/

Red flags missed: How July 4 have a suspicion slipped into with every one other accompanied by not here of system

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