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Statements from Mayor Rotering

Below please find statements from Mayor Rotering regarding the 4th of July  Parade Shooting on July 4, 2022:

July 11: Message from Mayor Rotering

July 6: Message from Mayor Rotering

July 5, 3:30 PM:
The Highland Park 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. Our focus the last 36 hours has been on the perpetrator of this heinous crime. As we now put the names and faces of those lost yesterday – family, friends, guests and longtime residents of the Highland Park community our focus shifts to the victims and those left behind.

This crisis has devastated entire families and our community in a single moment and we know will take time to heal. On behalf of the community and the world that mourns alongside us, I offer the loved ones of those who passed my condolences. 

I thank those who have organized prayer vigils to help support the weight of our shared sorrow. We have listed those on our website. While we are hurting -- we know that we will continue to come together and support each other, as we always do, in difficult times. We are Highland Park strong.

July 5, 11:30 AM: Today is a day of grieving together, a time to pause and remember those who have left us, those who were injured, and for strength for our community. Several vigil and prayer services are taking place today both inside and outside of Highland Park; they are as follows:

The Community Church of Lake Bluff (117 E. Scranton Ave, Lake Bluff) will hold a prayer service, today at 12:00 noon. The service will include prayer and music at Christ Church on the corner of Route 60 and Waukegan Avenue in Lake Forest.

Trinity Grace Church and Christ Church - Rev. 7:9 has organized a community prayer gathering at 3:00PM at Trinity Grace Church (1506 Half Day Rd., Highland Park IL). Everyone is welcome.

Highland Park Presbyterian Church, Trinity Episcopal, and other area faith leaders will hold a ecumenical community prayer vigil, today at 7:00 p.m. at the Highland Park Presbyterian Church (330 Laurel Ave., Highland Park). All are welcome.

Today Highland Park HS at 433 Vine Avenue in conjunction with community partners is hosting crisis counseling until 2:00pm and is open to everyone.

Additionally, a family assistance center will open tomorrow, July 6th at noon to provide support services and crisis assistance to those who were directly impacted at the parade. The location and hours of operation are pending. We’ll get the information to the community as soon as we have it – please visit the City website for more information.

The Highland Park Police Department, the American Red Cross and the FBI Victim Services Response Team are assisting with additional partners. The teams will engage with victims and families to assess their immediate needs and provides crisis intervention and other forms of emergency assistance. Anyone who is a victim of the incident – and is in need of support can call 800-CALL-FBI

I know what a generous community we are a part of – and we are overwhelmed with the amount off support offered not only from those in Highland Park but in the surrounding region and throughout the nation. Thank you. For those looking to donate to victims and in support of the community we ask that you be mindful of potential scams on GoFundMe and other fundraising avenues. This afternoon we will share additional information on the City’s website regarding how to donate to the victims, survivors, and those who support the community. For all those who have reached out with offers of equipment, food, and professional services we thank you.

Thank you all for coming out today, I will now turn the mic back over to Deputy Chief Cavelli.

July 4, 5:00 PM: This is a terribly difficult day, and the bloodiest that we have experienced in Highland Park. We are fortunate to be supported by our law enforcement community and Federal, State, County and local government officials who have all offered resources as we work to apprehend the perpetrator and protect Highland Park and nearby communities.

We appreciate that President Biden called to offer his condolences and Federal resources. Thank you to my fellow mayors who have reached out from across the country, many who lead communities that have experienced this pain and tragedy. Thank you to Governor Pritzker, Senator Duckworth, Congressman Schneider, Senator Morrison, Representative Morgan, and ISP Director Brendan Kelly for joining us today. Your support and assistance is appreciated and critical at this difficult time.

Our community, like so many before us, is devastated. It’s impossible to imagine the pain of this kind of tragedy until you’re confronted with it. 

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 will take time to heal.

Again, I want to extend my thanks to the people and resources who are moving this investigation forward and we all look forward to bringing this individual to justice. On behalf of the City of Highland Park, our hearts are broken for the victims and their families. As we always do, we will support each other. We are Highland Park strong.

Initial comments:

July 4, 2022: This morning at 10:10 a.m. 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 are instead mourning the tragic loss of life and struggling with the terror that was brought upon us. 

While we have all felt the burden of this terrible act -- I want to pause to thank the first responders who ran towards danger to render aid during this active shooter situation. We saw individuals who responded selflessly and put themselves at risk to save others. 

At this point we know that five people have lost their lives, and we are grieving for them and their families. Another 16 have been transported to the hospital. 

Multiple agencies including the FBI and State Police are working with our local authorities and the Governor has offered his full support.

What we know at this time is that this is an active situation and we urge everyone to remain indoors and be on high alert, but remain calm. 

Please contact your loved ones and ensure that they are safe and let them know that you are safe as well. 

The situation is evolving rapidly and we will continue to update you as we gain information and stabilize the situation.