A gunman opened fire on a July 4 parade at Highland Park, Illinois, killing at least six and injuring 24. With the shooter still at large, US President and Democrat Joe Biden expressed his grief over the incident and offered federal support. Meanwhile, gubernatorial candidate Darren Bailey briefly mentioned the shooting in his holiday message. 

The 56-year-old, backed by former President Donald Trump, said in his holiday message, “Twenty minutes away from here in Highland Park there was a shooting”. He continued, “There were several people that we know have been shot, that’s all we can hope, and we’re just going to take a moment and pray for the families and just pray for the law enforcement and even the organizers of this parade. They’ve done an amazing job. There’s a lot of confusion, frustration that the parade’s being cancelled. They did the right thing because people’s safety has got to come first.”

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Noting that the shooter’s at large and hoping for justice to prevail, Bailey continued “and now let’s move on and celebrate the independence of this nation.”

He concluded, “We know the mission, we have got to get corruption and evil out of our government, and we have got to elect men and women of honour and of courage to get this country and this state back on track.”

Bailey finally offered a prayer to the families affected by the shooting and law enforcement. The police have said they ran towards the gunfire but by the time they reached the spot, the shooter had fled. However, authorities have recovered a high-powered rifle and believe the shooter opened fire from a rooftop after assuming a sniper position. 

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After the incident at the Highland Park parade, several celebrations stand cancelled while law enforcement in other cities has increased vigilance.