CHICAGO — The city of Chicago will do whatever it can to help Highland Park after the suburb was rocked by a mass shooting on the Fourth of July, Mayor Lori Lightfoot vowed Tuesday.
A gunman opened fire on an Independence Day parade early Monday in Highland Park, killing six people and leaving dozens of others wounded. Among the victims were a Chicago Public Schools teacher and her family members.
The Chicago Police Department helped local authorities as they tried to track down the gunman, who was eventually taken into custody.
But Chicago is ready to do more, Lightfoot said.
“Whatever you need, we will be here for you,” Lightfoot said at a Tuesday morning news conference.
Lightfoot gathered with Supt. David Brown, Rep. Robin Kelly and other officials to discuss the Safer Communities Act, a proposed law that would create penalties for people who “straw purchase” guns and would provide funding for violence prevention, among other initiatives.
Officials said the Safer Communities Act — if it had already been passed — might not have necessarily been able to stop the Highland Park shooting, but it could prevent other violent acts.
And Americans should come together after the mass shooting and other events like it to put an end to violence, Lightfoot said.
“… These kinds of things don’t have geographic boundaries,” Lightfoot said. “When this happens anywhere — whether it’s here on the Southeast Side, whether it’s in Austin, Englewood, whether it’s in Highland Park or Uvalde or Buffalo or Philadelphia last night — we all have to feel this as Americans.
“If we don’t and we turn a blind eye and get numb to the consequences of what is destroying the fabric of our communities, then we are lost as a country. Our democracy will fail. We have to all be in this together.”
Lightfoot said she told Highland Park’s mayor, Nancy Rotering, Chicago is available for “anything that we could do” to help.
“We are all bound together, and we should be,” Lightfoot said.