Police seized 16 knives from the Highland Park shooter years before the incident

The Highland Park Police Department seized “16 knives, a dagger and a sword” from the suspect accused of shooting during a July 4 parade in Highland Park, Illinois, three years before it was ransacked.

At a press conference on Tuesday, Sergeant Christopher Covelli of the Lake County Major Crimes Task Force said that Highland Park law enforcement officials had already had two contacts with the alleged shooter.

Highland Park Police Department was called to the suspect’s home in April 2019 after learning he had attempted suicide. Covelli noted that the report was delayed, so law enforcement responded to the suicide attempt “a week later.”

Covelli added that because mental health professionals were handling the case at the time, “there was no law enforcement action to take.”

Highland Park officers also visited the suspect’s home for a second time in September 2019 after the suspect threatened to “kill everyone” in his home.

“The second happened in September 2019. A family member reported that Crimo said he was going to kill everyone and that Crimo had a collection of knives,” Covelli said. said. “The police responded to his residence. Police removed 16 knives, a dagger and a sword from Crimo’s home.

Covelli said law enforcement did not arrest the suspect because the victims had not signed any complaints and because “at that time, there was no probable cause for arrest.” .

The Highland Park Police Department notified Illinois State Police of the second visit to the suspect’s home, according to Covelli.

One of the suspect’s former classmates at Highland Park High School told NBC that the suspect’s past was littered with “lots of red flags.”

Another classmate claimed ‘everyone knew’ the suspect ‘was off’, but added that he ‘never actually gave any signs that he was capable of such a degree of violence’ .

With multiple visits by law enforcement to his home and stories from his former classmates about the suspect, many skiers on social media wondered how the suspect could have purchased the guns he had. used for shooting in light of Illinois firearms ownership identification requirements.

“These are the eligibility requirements for a Firearms Ownership Identification (FOID) card in Illinois, which are issued by the Illinois State Police,” said Madison Muller of Bloomberg. tweeted. “Officials say Crimo purchased his firearms after two mental health-related incidents with HP Police (no charges have been filed).”

Some of the eligibility conditions are: “I have not been a patient in a psychiatric facility or any part of a medical facility for the treatment of mental illness within the last 5 years” and “I have not have not been tried by a court as mentally retarded or ordered by a court, board or authorized entity for inpatient or outpatient mental health treatment.

As Covelli explained at Tuesday’s press conference, the suspect’s interaction with law enforcement in September 2019 did not rise to the level where it was necessary to involuntarily commit him to hospital. .

covelli said:

So the question is the answer to this September incident. The police responded. The police cannot make an arrest unless there is a probable reason to make an arrest or someone is willing to sign complaints about their arrest. Without these things, the police have no power to detain someone. Now, if there’s an issue where it’s necessary to involuntarily send someone to the hospital, that’s an option, but it wasn’t an option. At the time, he did not fall into this category. But nevertheless, the Highland Park Police notified the Illinois State Police.

When asked if red flag laws would have prevented the suspect from purchasing the firearms used in the attack, Covelli encouraged individuals to “notify the social media network” of questionable content posted by someone and then “notify local law enforcement”. ”

Covelli added that at the time law enforcement seized the knives from the suspect’s home, “there was no information that he possessed firearms.”

“So at that time there was no information that he had firearms, rifles. Would that be enough if he makes threats? It’s on a case-by-case basis. I don’t want to talk broadly about it,” Covelli said. “It depends on the circumstances. There are circumstances where law enforcement has the power to get a seizure order. But it depends on the situation at hand. every time.

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