The man accused of shooting dozens of people at a parade in Illinois on Independence Day was able to purchase the firearms used in the attack because his father co-signed his Firearm Owners Identification (FOID) card, which gun owners must have in that state.
The revelation comes after local law enforcement officials revealed earlier in the day that the suspect had already been on law enforcement’s radar due to a pair of incidents that happened back in 2019, including the suspect attempting suicide followed by an alleged threat to “kill everyone” several months later.
The Daily Wire is not naming the suspect due to company policy about not giving notoriety to mass killers because studies suggest that the media’s coverage of mass shootings sparks more mass shootings.
“At the time of the incident, [the suspect] did not have a FOID card to revoke, and did not have a pending FOID application to deny,” Fox 32 reported. “Then, in December 2019, at 19, [the suspect] applied for a FOID card and was sponsored by his father. At the time, [Illinois State Police] said there were insufficient bases to establish a clear and present danger and deny the application.”‘
Axios reporter Monica Eng said that ISP did not have the basis to deny the suspect the FOID card because the suspect’s family did not press charges against him after he allegedly threatened to “kill everyone.”
Lake County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer Christopher Covelli detailed at a press conference earlier in the day the incidents from 2019 that law enforcement officials responded to.
“I’m going to relay some information from two prior instances that occurred here in Highland Park,” Covelli said. “The first was in April of 2019. An individual contacted Highland Park Police Department a week after learning of [the suspect] attempting suicide. This was a delayed report, so Highland Park still responded to the residence a week later, spoke with [the suspect], spoke with [the suspect’s] parents, and the matter was being handled by mental health professionals at that time, there was no law enforcement action to be taken. It was a mental health issue and handled by those professionals.”
“The second occurred in September of 2019,” Covelli continued. “A family member reported that [the suspect] said he was going to kill everyone and [the suspect] had a collection of knives. The police responded to his residence, the police removed 16 knives, a dagger, and a sword from [the suspect’s] home. At that time, there was no probable cause to arrest, there were no complaints that were signed by any of the victims. The Highland Park Police Department, however, did immediately notify the Illinois State Police of the incident.”
This report has been updated to include additional information.