The high-powered rifle police believe Robert “Bobby” Crimo used to kill seven people and wound dozens more was legally purchased online and picked up from local gun dealer Red Dot Arms, the proprietor of the Illinois store confirmed to The Daily Beast.
The owner of Red Dot, who asked that his name not be used, told The Daily Beast Crimo bought the Smith & Wesson M&P 15 semi-automatic rifle from a retailer in Kentucky called budsgunshop.com, which sells the weapon for under $700 with free shipping. Police say Crimo obtained the weapon after a September 2019 incident that led to cops confiscating 16 knives, a sword, and a dagger from Crimo’s home in the Chicago suburb of Highland Park.
As The Daily Beast previously reported, state police said Crimo’s father, Robert Crimo Jr., signed his son’s application to obtain a state Firearm Owners Identification, or FOID card, in December 2019. This even though the son was said to have attempted suicide and to have threatened the family.
Budsgunshop.com could not immediately be reached for comment.
In a telephone interview on Wednesday, Red Dot’s owner said that the Lake Villa, Illinois, store was closed and that he was at home when ATF agents contacted him on Monday morning after the shooting at a July 4 parade. He said he immediately made the 10-minute drive to the store and pulled the paperwork, a Form 4473 bearing the rifle’s serial number and Crimo’s name.
“We meticulously do the paperwork,” the owner said. “That's, that's our job. That's what we do to track.”
Red Dot describes itself as “a multi-faceted business dedicated to the education of individuals on the proper use and care of firearms… Our family-owned business, headquartered in Lake Villa, Illinois, services our customers out of seven warehouses nationally, offering products from over 250 manufacturers.”
The shop sells a range of AR-15s, AK-47s, and other rifles, starting at about $300. It also carries a variety of far-right merchandise, such as stickers glorifying armed militias like the 3 Percenters and others bearing slogans including “Molon Labe,” a taunt used by the right wing that means, “Come and take it.”
Red Dot also offers training classes, and for $75, will help Illinois residents apply for a concealed carry permit.
A senior law enforcement official told The Daily Beast the rifle was one of four firearms that Crimo purchased through Red Dot Arms. After the shooting, authorities said they seized a total of five guns from Crimo, including two rifles, handguns, and a shotgun.
The owner of Red Dot said of Crimo, “Most of these people doing these things are pretty stupid. Somebody that... would’ve put a thought [into] this would’ve grinded the serial number and we would've never found him.”
Crimo, 21, has been charged with seven counts of first-degree murder, with “dozens of more” charges expected, Lake County State’s Attorney Eric Rinehart announced Tuesday evening. He is accused of gunning down innocent spectators attending the parade, turning a normally festive day into a terrifying bloodbath.
Crimo had been planning the attack for “several weeks,” according to authorities, and although he had made violent threats against his family and previously attempted suicide, was nevertheless approved for a state gun permit.