'Nothing short of horrific': Highland Park residents, officials react to parade shooting

  • A police officer walks in downtown Highland Park Monday a mass shooting during the Fourth of July parade.

    A police officer walks in downtown Highland Park Monday a mass shooting during the Fourth of July parade. Associated Press

Daily Herald Report
Updated 7/4/2022 7:46 PM

Local officials, Highland Park natives and others reacted to news of the shootings in Highland Park:

"I grew up in Highland Park and this parade is a highlight of the year for so many families. I'm sick to my stomach every time news like this comes out, but I don't wish the pit in your stomach as you call your family and friends to make sure everyone is okay on anyone. No words."


-- Rachel Brosnahan, star of "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" on Twitter

"I grew up in Highland Park. I'm actively reaching out to check on the welfare of people I still know there. My heart is always broken by these constant mass shootings no matter where they occur but today I'm extra heartbroken. And extra angry at the senselessness."

-- Singer/songwriter Richard Marx on Twitter

"Absolutely terrifying. Families from all over seek out this time-honored tradition on Fourth of July -- and today, many found themselves running for their lives. Every community deserves to be safe from senseless gun violence."

-- Sen. Tammy Duckworth on Twitter

"My heart is with the Highland Park community. On a day when we are supposed to be celebrating our freedoms, I am disheartened by the violence witnessed this morning in Highland Park."

-- Cook County Commissioner Scott Britton on Twitter

"Today, while at the July 4th parade, my family, the entire Highland Park Community and I experienced the trauma of what far too many across the country are experiencing: The paralyzing terror of gun violence by a mass shooter. The only way we can end this crisis is for our state & federal government to pass the laws that we've all been demanding. Thank you to the first responders who bravely stepped into an active shooting & undoubtedly saved hundreds of lives today. I pray for healing for the victims."

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-- state Sen. Julie Morrison on Twitter

"I am devastated by the mass shooting at the Highland Park parade. Please stay safe and stay away from the downtown Highland Park area. Our hearts go out to the families and communities changed forever by this senseless act of violence."

-- state Rep. Daniel Didech on Twitter

"My heart breaks for the all families who suffered such an unimaginable loss at the Highland Park parade today. Our nation has lost too many to the epidemics of gun violence and hate. We must prevent these acts of terror from happening again. Our communities should be safe from fear and harm -- enough is enough."

-- state Sen. Ram Villivalam on Twitter

"NSLAC calls (Highland Park) home. Gun violence does not discriminate and our home is experiencing a tragedy due to gun violence. Our physical office will be closed for this week. We will be open virtually. Our hearts are broken for the victims, their families, and our community."

-- North Suburban Legal Aid Clinic, founded by Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering, on Twitter

"No words to describe the devastation from yet another mass shooting. My heart breaks for all of the families that have been impacted by this senseless act of violence. We must do more. Please stay safe."


-- state Sen. Laura Fine

"To face senseless gun violence while out celebrating Independence Day is nothing short of horrific. The nation's prayers are with Highland Park today."

-- Sen. Dick Durbin on Facebook

"This morning at 10:14 our community was terrorized by an act of violence that has shaken us to our core. Our hearts go out to the families of the victims during this devastating time. On a day that we came together to celebrate community and freedom we're instead mourning the tragic loss of life and struggling with the terror."

-- Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering (from NBC 5 Chicago News)

"Today, I ask all Illinoisans to pray for the families who have been devastated by the evil unleashed this morning in Highland Park, for those who have lost loved ones and for those who have been injured. I also ask that we all pray for our first responders at all levels of government who are actively working to bring the suspect into custody, and whose bravery undoubtedly saved innocent lives on the scene.

"There are no words for the kind of monster who lies in wait and fires into a crowd of families with children celebrating a holiday with their community. There are no words for the kind of evil that robs our neighbors of their hopes, their dreams, their futures. There are no words I can offer to lift the pain of those they leave behind. Please know that our state grieves with you, that MK and I grieve with you.

"But grief will not bring the victims back, and prayers alone will not put a stop to the terror of rampant gun violence in our country.

"I will stand firm with Illinoisans and Americans: we must -- and we will -- end this plague of gun violence."

-- Gov. J.B. Pritzker

"Our thoughts go out to all those impacted by this senseless shooting."

-- Deerfield Mayor Dan Shapiro

"My heart goes out to the victims, their families and everyone in the Highland Park community. The Fourth of July is supposed to be a day of celebration that brings us together. Instead, all of us at the village are heartbroken and saddened by the senseless violence that took place in Highland Park. While a difficult decision to make, I'm grateful for the quick action taken by the Glenview Police Department to cancel Monday's events in the best interests of everyone's safety. The Village continues to monitor the situation and will provide updates to the community as needed."

-- Glenview Village President Mike Jenny

"I am without words to respond to, yet again, another act of senseless violence, that this time has occurred right here in Lake County. My heart goes out to the victims and their loved ones, the Highland Park community, and its leadership, and to those who responded today and continue to do so, to this horrific event. Lake County and our partnering agencies stand with and beside you through it all to provide the support that is needed."

-- Lake County Board Chair Sandy Hart

"We are all horrified by this inhumane violence. This parade is a family event and supposed to be a celebration. Today our community is mourning and in shock. I pray for the victims; their families and that our country will find the strength to protect our safety. I'm grateful for the offers of support from all our community leaders and fellow county board members who have reached out."

-- Paul Frank, Lake County Board, District 11

"I am so deeply saddened by today's events. Our parade is about family, community, and country. Our community is in shock and our hearts are heavy for those that lost their lives or were severely injured due to another incident in this epidemic of senseless gun violence. We pray for our community, the first responders and the victims."

-- Paras Parekh, Lake County Board, District 12

"On a day intended to be filled with celebration, our neighbors and our community have been rocked by the tragic and senseless events this morning at the Highland Park Fourth Fest. We are working in collaboration with our civic and community partners, including Districts 112 and 113, to coordinate counseling support, assess the needs of our community, and determine how we can address the shared need together over the coming days. ... The children of our community need us to rally together to be there for them now more than ever."

-- Deerfield District 109 Superintendent Michael V. Simeck

"Our hearts go to the victims of the unspeakable tragedy that took place today at the 4th of July Parade in Highland Park. No words can make sense of this and we offer thoughts, prayers and calm for all affected. ... It goes without saying that yet another incident of gun violence has caused irreparable harm and hurt. District 112 is a community that cares. Please, do not hesitate to reach out for help if you or someone in your family needs to talk."

-- North Shore District 112 Superintendent Michael Lubelfeld

"The Ravinia family is reaching out with love to our Highland Park community. Our wish is for comfort and healing to those harmed in today's parade and for their families."

-- Ravinia Festival, on Facebook

"I have been watching the news in horror as at least 6 are dead and many more were wounded after a gunman opened fire as families attended an Independence Day parade in Highland Park. What should have been a peaceful celebration of our nation's founding ended in unspeakable tragedy.

"Please join me in praying for the victims and their loved ones, who never imagined a July 4 celebration could become a killing ground. Pray too for the safety of first responders as they pursue the person responsible for this tragedy. They bravely rushed into the danger to treat victims and to protect others from harm.

"The parade reportedly had a heavy presence of police and fire vehicles, yet this shooter was able to wound at least two dozen people before he stopped, or was stopped, and fled. Victims ranged in age from 8 to 85. Weapons designed to rapidly destroy human bodies have no place in civil society.

"It is barely July, and this year the United States is already experiencing more than one mass shooting a day. Chicago Police reported at least 55 shot and 7 killed since Friday, and the holiday weekend is not yet over. Gun violence is now the leading cause of death for U.S. children.

"Whatever one makes of the right to bear arms, there is plenty of room for prudential judgment in interpreting the Second Amendment so as to enact serious, broadly popular gun-safety measures. The Senate finally passed a significant, yet modest, gun-safety bill last month. But clearly more must be done.

"The right to bear arms does not eclipse the right to life, or the right of all Americans to go about their lives free of the fear that they might be shredded by bullets at any moment. Gun violence is a life issue. We must continue to pray that all our officials, elected and unelected alike, will redouble their commitment to keeping safe the people they have sworn to serve.

"Pope Francis wrote to the people of Chicagoland in 2016: "As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, humanity 'must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love.' I urge all people, especially young men and women, to respond to Dr. King's prophetic words and know that a culture of nonviolence is not an unattainable dream, but a path that has produced decisive results."

"May the Lord of mercy embrace in love those who have died, bring healing to the wounded, comfort to their loved ones, and courage to all of us, so that we may respond to this tragedy united as God's children to build a path to safety and peace."

-- Cardinal Blase Cupich, archbishop of Chicago

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