World · July 6, 2022

Kamala Harris visits the 4th of July parade shooting scene

Vice President Kamala Harris visited the Illinois city where seven people were killed in a mass shooting during a July 4th parade on Tuesday, telling residents that “we need to be smarter as a country in terms of who has access to what,” and, in particular, to attack weapons “.

“There is no doubt that this experience will persist with trauma,” said Harris, standing near the site of the massacre the day before. “I would like to urge all families and all individuals to seek the support you rightly deserve. … We are here for you and to be with you.

Harris was supposed to be in Chicago to give a speech at the National Education Assn’s annual convention. In her remarks to the association, Harris complained about how “yesterday should have been a day to get together with family and friends to celebrate our nation’s independence.”

Instead, he said, Highland Park “suffered a violent tragedy. Children, parents, grandparents – victims of a senseless act of armed violence “.

Harris used the speech to highlight another recent tragedy as well: the mass shooting in May at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas. Nineteen children and two teachers were killed in that attack.

“Teachers shouldn’t be practicing barricading a classroom,” he said. “Teachers shouldn’t know how to heal a gunshot wound. And teachers shouldn’t be told that ‘You would have been saved if only you had a gun.’ ”

The Uvalde shooting put intense pressure on lawmakers to address gun violence and led to a rare bipartisan piece of legislation that tightened background checks and is designed to make it easier for firearms to be confiscated from those deemed dangerous.

“We’ve made some progress,” Harris said. “But we have to do more.”

After her convention speech, Harris headed to Highland Park, about 30 miles north of downtown Chicago. She briefly met with police officers and the city mayor, Nancy Rotering, as well as other public officials. The vice president promised them that the federal government would provide all the necessary resources to the city of 30,000 residents.

Local police said they were continuing to gather evidence of the shooting, which occurred during the annual Highland Park 4th of July parade.

Within hours of the attack, police arrested a suspect identified as Robert E. Crimo III, 21, of Highwood, Illinois. Crimo was charged with seven counts of first degree murder in connection with the shooting. Police said they believe Crimo fired at least 70 shots at the crowd from the roof of a commercial building. More than 30 people were injured in the barrage of bullets.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.