Highland Park gathers to remember parade shooting victims, push for change
Organizers said the memorial march was done to reclaim the day from the tragedy.
It was a somber Fourth of July for the residents of Highland Park, Illinois, as they gathered to mark one year since the mass shooting that took the lives of seven revelers and wounded dozens of others.
Hundreds of people joined dignitaries, including U.S. senators Tammy Duckworth and Dick Durbin and Gov. JB Pritzker, outside city hall on Tuesday to mark a moment of silence at 10:14 a.m., the time when the mass shooting occurred.
They then marched north on a memorial walk that organizers said was done not only to honor the victims but reclaim the day and the parade from the tragedy.
"I am so proud of how our community has supported one another during these 12 months and today," Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering said during the service.
A gunman armed with a rifle opened fire during last year's parade, striking dozens of paradegoers and marchers. Investigators said 83 shots were fired during the mass shooting.
Seven people were killed during the incident: Katherine Goldstein, 64, Stephen Straus, 88, Jacki Sundheim, 63, Nicolas Toledo-Zaragoza, 78, Eduardo Uvaldo, 69, and Irina McCarthy, 35, and her husband Kevin McCarthy, 37. During the parade, the McCarthys were with their 2-year-old son, Aiden, and were separated during the incident.
The toddler survived.
Forty-eight other people were wounded from either gunshots or shrapnel.
One of those victims was honored Monday night during the Cubs-Brewers game in Milwaukee.
Cooper Roberts, 9, who was paralyzed from the waist down, threw out the first pitch of the game to his favorite player Christian Yelich.
"Having Cooper here, alongside his family, represents a milestone in this long path to recovery for the entire community," Rick Schlesinger, the Brewers' president of business operations, said in a statement.
After an hours-long manhunt, police caught and arrested the suspect, Robert Crimo III, 22. The alleged gunman was charged with 117 criminal counts including 21 counts of first-degree murder, three counts for each victim, as well as 48 counts of attempted murder.
The suspect has pleaded not guilty and awaiting trial.
He faces life in prison without parole if convicted on his charges.
Investigators said the suspect legally purchased the weapon used in the shooting and other firearms found in his car during his arrest.
In December, the suspect's father, Robert Crimo Jr., was charged by investigators with seven counts of reckless conduct causing great bodily harm. The suspect's father allegedly signed the Firearm Owner's Identification card for his son to apply for gun ownership.
The alleged gunman was 19 at the time and too young to get a FOID card on his own.
The suspect's father pleaded not guilty to his charges.
Rotering and other community leaders pushed for an end to gun violence.
"As we remember each of the victims of the shooting let us commit to making meaningful change," she said.