Highland Park City Council meets for 1st time since 4th of July parade shooting

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ByEric Horng via WLS logo
Tuesday, July 26, 2022
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The Highland Park City Council met for the first time after the July 4th parade shooting that left seven people dead and dozens of others hurt.

HIGHLAND PARK, (WLS) -- The Highland Park City Council met for the first time Monday night, three weeks after the July 4th parade shooting that left seven people dead and dozens of others hurt.

The meeting began with a moment of silence as city officials and residents honored the seven people killed, the more than two dozen injured, and the many other lives that have been forever impacted by the tragedy.

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Afterward, Mayor Nancy Rotering fought through tears as she offered thanks to first responders and to the people of Highland Park.

"I am so appreciative of our entire city team, and all who have joined together to support our community," Rotering said. "They have lifted us up with special care and attention, and we are united in the face of trauma."

"There's trauma that people are still experiencing," said State Rep. Bob Morgan (D-North suburbs). "For those of us who travel through downtown Highland Park, we see it. We're experiencing our own grief and trauma and moving on as best we can."

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On the north side of city hall, a slew of items that were left behind along the parade route in a moment of terror still remain unclaimed three weeks later. They include picnic chairs, bicycle helmets, sandals and water bottles.

They're perhaps unclaimed for a reason, with many residents still coming to terms with what happened.

Highland Park is now finding its voice, taking the lead in the national debate on gun violence.

Last week in Washington, D.C. Mayor Rotering called for a national ban on assault style weapons, and now the Illinois House is convening a gun violence working group chaired by Rep. Morgan.

"There are representatives from all around the state that are on that working group, and we're going to be talking about what do we have consensus around to make sure we're reducing gun violence," he said.

Artist Herb Kruse has created portraits of the victims and gifted them to the city. He said his apartment overlooks the rooftop allegedly used in the shooting, and he can't bear to live there anymore.

"I'm moving tomorrow out of Highland Park," he said at the meeting. "If you can honor these and put them in a place of honor or give them to the families of the deceased."

The city said there will be a permanent memorial created with input from the victims' families and the public, but that process is not expected to begin for some time.