State Watch

Mayor reflects on July Fourth shooting: ‘This tragedy never should have arrived on our doorsteps’

Law enforcement search in downtown Highland Park, a Chicago suburb, after a mass shooting at a Fourth of July parade.
Nam Y. Huh/The Associated Press
Law enforcement search in downtown Highland Park, a Chicago suburb, after a mass shooting at a Fourth of July parade.

The mayor of Highland Park, Ill., said after the mass shooting at a Fourth of July parade in the Chicago suburb left six people dead that the “tragedy never should have arrived on our doorsteps.”

“Frankly, my greater focus this morning, as the sun is rising, is how my community is feeling. The unbelievable sadness, the unbelievable shock,” Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering (D) said early Tuesday during an interview on NBC’s “Today.” 

“This tragedy never should have arrived on our doorsteps and as a small town, everybody knows somebody who was affected by this directly, and of course we’re all still reeling.”

Dozens of people were wounded in the mass shooting after the Independence Day parade kicked off in Highland Park on Monday morning.

Officials have detained Robert E. Crimo III, who was identified as a person of interest, and Rotering said on Tuesday officials are waiting for charges to be filed.

“I know him as somebody who was a Cub Scout when I was the Cub Scout leader. And it’s one of those things where you step back and you say ‘What happened? How did somebody become this angry, this hateful to then take it out on innocent people who literally were just having a family day out?’” she asked.

Rotering also suggested during the “Today” interview that the country needed to “reexamine the laws.” The mayor said she knew the gun used in the shooting was obtained legally but that other details were not available.

“Yesterday, we came together as a community to celebrate independence and freedom after two years of not having a parade. We were ready to come together as a community and celebrate our nation. And in fact, as a result, because of this gun culture, our nation turned its back on us and turned its back on our celebration,” she said. 

The development comes against the backdrop of recently signed bipartisan gun safety legislation that followed high-profile shootings in Uvalde, Texas, and Buffalo, N.Y. 

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