Robert Crimo's uncle: His dad was 'right' to sign off on him being able to purchase a gun
Police crime tape is seen near an American flag-themed sunglasses laying on the ground at the scene of the Fourth of July parade shooting in Highland Park, Illinois on July 4, 2022. (Youngrae Kim/AFP)

The uncle of Highland Park mass shooter Robert Crimo III said his brother “did the right thing” when he helped his son buy guns, CNN reports.

“I support him 100% — I think he did the right thing,” Paul Crimo said regarding the gunman’s dad, Robert Crimo Jr., adding that he wasn't aware that the shooter was previously investigated for threatening to kill "everyone" in 2019.

Despite the shooter's confession at the time that he was a depressed drug user and was flagged as a “clear and present danger,” his father sponsored his son’s Firearm Owners Identification (FOID) card and took back the knives that police had confiscated.

“People recover quickly … maybe he recovered quickly and he was in his right mind frame at that time,” he said of his nephew, adding that his brother likely “saw no trouble when he signed” FOID card.

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“If it was me, no, I wouldn’t … I probably would not have signed it,” the uncle said. “I think the law’s gotta be tightened up."

“If somebody has a life threat, if somebody’s suicidal or if somebody’s under depression … the state should see that and not give the person a FOID card,” he said.

As the New York Post points out, authorities have not yet ruled out possible charges against the shooter’s dad, who also faces potential civil liability.

The shooting is part of a wave of gun violence plaguing the United States, where approximately 40,000 deaths a year are caused by firearms, according to the Gun Violence Archive website.

And it cast a pall over America's Independence Day, in which towns and cities across the country hold similar parades and people -- many dressed in variations on the US flag -- hold barbecues, attend sports events and gather for firework displays.

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"We were getting ready to march down the street and then all the sudden waves of these people started running after, like running towards us. And right before that happened, we heard the pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, and I thought it was fireworks," Emily Prazak, who marched in the parade, told AFP.

Don Johnson, who attended the parade, said he initially thought the gunshots were a car backfiring.

"And finally, I heard the screams from a block down and people running and carrying their kids and everything, and we ran into the gas station, and we were in there for three hours," he told AFP.

"I've seen scenes like this over and over again on the TV and in different communities, and didn't think it was going to happen here ever," he said.

Police officials said the shooting began at 10:14 am, when the parade was approximately three-quarters of the way through.

"It sounds like spectators were targeted... So, very random, very intentional and very sad," said Lake County Major Crime Task Force spokesman Christopher Covelli.

With additional reporting by AFP