The father of the man accused of killing seven people and wounding 48 others during a Fourth of July parade in Highland Park, Illinois, was arrested on Friday on charges of felony reckless conduct.
The suspected gunman’s father is charged with seven counts of felony reckless conduct, according to Lake County State’s Attorney Eric Rinehart. The Daily Wire is not publishing the names of the suspect or his father in keeping with a policy of depriving alleged mass shooters of undeserved notoriety.
“Parents and guardians are in the best position to decide whether their teenager should have a weapon. They are the first line of defense. In this case, that system failed when (the suspect’s father) sponsored his son,” Rinehart said in a statement. “He knew what he knew, and he signed the form anyway. This was criminally reckless and a contributing cause to the bodily harm suffered by the victims on July 4th.”
The suspect’s father turned himself in to law enforcement, the statement also revealed. He was scheduled for a bond hearing on Saturday, where a judge set bond at $50,000, according to CNN.
Bond conditions require the suspected gunman’s father to surrender his weapons and to refrain from drug and alcohol usage, it added. His next hearing is scheduled for January 12, 2023.
The prosecutors argue that the suspected killer’s father helped his son obtain a Firearm Owner’s Identification (FOID) Card, which was only possible for a person under 21 years old with a parent’s participation in the application process. The charges claim that the father’s assistance in obtaining the FOID card was a contributing cause to those killed by the shooter during the parade.
Reckless conduct is considered a Class 4 Felony, the statement noted, which could lead to a sentence of up to three years in prison.
The alleged gunman, who was 21 years old at the time of the mass shooting, faces 117 charges in the killing of seven people and wounding dozens of others. His court date is scheduled for January 31, 2023. He confessed to firing more than 80 rounds during the parade, though he later pleaded not guilty.
The Daily Wire previously reported that defense attorney Scott Greenfield explained why someone who confessed in this matter would still plead not guilty.
“The defendant is always told to plead ‘not guilty’ at arraignment in order to allow his lawyer to engage in discovery, motion practice and plea negotiations,” Greenfield said. “It’s entirely normal and reflects nothing about ‘innocence’ per se, but allows the lawyer room to do his job of zealously representing the defendant, no matter how overwhelming the evidence of guilty.”
Despite the suspected gunman having no criminal record before the shootings, he was the focus of two calls from family members in 2019. The first call came in response to a suicide attempt.
The second call came from a family member who said the suspect threatened to “kill everybody.” Police removed 16 knives, one dagger, and one sword from the suspect’s home, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
Despite the reports, the young man obtained a FOID card with the help of his father at the age of 19, which allowed him to legally own a firearm in Illinois.