Content warning: This story contains mentions of gun violence and death.
Evanston kicked off its 100th July 4 celebration at 9 a.m. Monday morning with sack races and egg tossing. Shortly after, Jamie Black, the Evanston 4th of July Association celebration manager, received a call from the Evanston Police Department.
Black received the call shortly after a gunman opened fire in Highland Park Fourth of July parade on Monday morning, killing seven people and injuring more than 30. Highland Park is a northern suburb of Chicago located just over 10 miles from Evanston.
As a precaution, Evanston close all 4th of July celebrations and city beaches closed after filming. The police took the suspect in custody about eight hours after the initial incident.
“There really are no words at this moment to express our condolences to those who lost loved ones or were otherwise injured yesterday morning, to communicate our anger at the horrific reality of the violence armed in America in 2022, or to express how frightening it is for a city that cherishes its communal public gatherings like 4th of July parades to wonder when we can ever be truly safe,” said Mayor Daniel Biss in a statement Tuesday.
While Highland Park recorded the highest number of casualties in a single incident, gun violence records recorded 11 mass shootings this July 4, with around 10 people killed and 77 others injured in nine states.
In the statement, Biss also called for local and federal legislation to limit access to guns.
“Hardly any other country has gun laws like ours, and no other country has a problem like ours,” he wrote. “It’s no coincidence, and anyone who continues to claim otherwise has blood on their hands.”
Audrey Thompson, The city’s director of parks and recreation said Evanston’s human resources division had trained individuals on how to debrief tragedies and said employers should recognize how people can be affected by the events. Monday and support them.
What’s scary, Thompson said, is knowing there’s no immediate way to prevent a similar mass shooting 100% of the time, even with extensive communication with police and firefighters.
“Mental illness is real,” Thompson said. “We have to be very aware of our surroundings, you know, aware of the situation, but also reach out to young people when we know they may be in distress and offer them services to get them help as soon as possible. possible.”
Community members shared resource guides for healing spaces, donation centers and GoFundMe.
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— Person of interest apprehended in relation to Highland Park mass shooting
— Evanston cancels 4th of July celebrations after shooting Highland Park parade