'The bloodiest day that we have ever experienced in Highland Park'
(Editor's note: The following message from Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering was distributed by the City of Highland Park as an "e-message" to residents at 8:48 p.m. Monday, July 4, following a deadly shooting at the city's Independence Day parade that morning. The message has been edited for clarity.)
Message from Mayor Rotering:
Today was the bloodiest day that we have ever experienced in Highland Park. This morning, at approximately 10:14 a.m., a shooter opened fire with an assault weapon on a crowd attending our 4th of July parade. We know at this time that six individuals lost their lives and at least 24 were injured. Our hearts go out to the victims, families, and our community. (Ed. note: A seventh person has died since this was released.)
The attack prompted an immediate and well-coordinated response from multiple law enforcement agencies at the federal, state, county, and local levels. A suspect was identified and a massive manhunt ensued.
At approximately 6:30 p.m., the suspect was apprehended on Route 41 at Westleigh Road. He was taken into custody without incident and is currently being processed through the Highland Park Police Department.
Throughout the day, we have received offers of support and resources from public officials and agencies including President Biden. Fellow mayors have reached out from across the country, many who lead communities that have experienced this pain and tragedy. We thank Governor J.B. Pritzker, Senator Richard Durbin, Senator Tammy Duckworth, Congressman Brad Schneider, Illinois State Senator Julie Morrison, and Illinois State Representative Bob Morgan for coming to support our community and for providing every available resource.
I want to thank our first responders for their bravery and extraordinary efforts today. Our police and firefighters saved countless lives with their responses -- running into danger and taking immediate action to save others. We are grateful for these selfless acts. We know there were members of our community who rendered aid and assistance as well, and we thank each and every one of you for those efforts.
I also want to acknowledge and thank numerous agencies for their support, including American Red Cross, World Central Kitchen, Lakeshore Country Club, Northmoor Country Club, Soul and Smoke food truck, Catering by Michaels, Northern Illinois Critical Incident Stress Management, local clergy and many other individuals and agencies have stepped up to provide food and support for our first responders. We are grateful for their generosity.
Our community, like so many before us, is devastated. It's impossible to imagine the pain of this kind of tragedy until it happens in your backyard. Gun violence -- a mass shooting such as this -- casts a much wider net of agony than what the public is typically exposed to; it's a crisis that devastates entire families and communities in a single moment and we know (it) will take time to heal.
Tomorrow (July 5) the president will order our flags to fly at half-staff, and many public programs have been canceled. Please check with your camps and activities to see if they are operating. In the days and weeks ahead, we will come together as a community to mourn and begin the path of healing. I will share more information as it is available.
... The theme of this year's parade was community -- and while we are hurting, we know that we will come together and support each other, as we always do, in difficult times. We are Highland Park strong.
Nancy R. Rotering, Mayor
City of Highland Park, Illinois