The father of the Highland Park parade shooting suspect insisted Wednesday that he intends to “hold [his] head up high” despite questions about his own role in helping his son buy guns and a cryptic conversation they had on the eve to the massacre.
The Daily Wire is not naming the suspect, who is accused of killing seven and wounding dozens, in keeping with a policy to deprive mass killers of the notoriety studies show they crave. But the 21-year-old’s father said he spoke with his son the night before the shooting about a recent mass shooting in a Copenhagen shopping mall.
“He goes, ‘Yeah, that guy is an idiot,’” the father said, adding that his son declared, “People like that … [commit mass shootings] to amp up the people that want to ban all guns.”
The suspect 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 Illinois.
The revelation comes after local law enforcement officials divulged that the suspect had already been on law enforcement’s radar due to a pair of incidents in 2019, including the suspect attempting suicide followed by an alleged threat to “kill everyone” several months later.
“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.”
The father took no responsibility for the weapons that his son acquired.
“He bought everything on his own, and they’re registered to him,” he said. “You know, he drove there, he ordered them, he picked them up, they did his background check on each one.”
“They make me like I groomed him to do all this,” the father continued, referring to those who said of those who are criticizing him for co-signing the FOID card. “I’ve been here my whole life, and I’m gonna stay here, hold my head up high, because I didn’t do anything wrong.”
The father said that he wants a “long” prison sentence for his son, adding, “That’s life. You know you have consequences for actions. He made a choice. He didn’t have to do that. I think there’s mental illness there, obviously. … I didn’t see a lot of it.”