Illinois residents in fear after mass shooting at Fourth of July parade in Highland Park (includes video story)

A shooting happened in Highland Park, Illinois on Fourth of July. This attack is the 309th mass shooting this year, joining California, Indiana and Pennsylvania on the list.

“My community came together yesterday to celebrate freedom,” Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering said on Tuesday. “There is no freedom if you’re fearing a mass shooting on a weekly basis.”

The police say the gunman, Robert “Bobby” Crimo III, fired 70 rounds from a high-powered rifle. Seven people lost their lives and 39 others were injured, including those who remain hospitalized. The victims and witnesses range in ages from 8 to 85, and most of them were families who gathered to watch the traditional Fourth of July parade. 

“The last time I heard a weapon with that capacity firing that rapidly on a Fourth of July was Iraq,” said Senator and U.S. Army veteran Tammy Duckworth, who attended the parade. “It was not the United States of America. We can, and we should, and we will do better.”

Some elected officials are asking themselves why does an American need to own a type of weapon that was designed for the military and why are so many in civilians hands nationwide. 

“There is no reason that we have weapons of war on the streets of America. We need reasonable gun safety laws,” said Vice President Kamala Harris during a speech to educators shortly after the shooting. Harris spoke in Chicago, some 28 miles south of Highland Park. 

The suspect is now in custody and has been charged with seven counts of first-degree murder. If convicted, Crimo could face life in prison.

Nicole Castañeda is a psychologist and designer double major at Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá and has a master degree in Clinical Psychology and Logo-therapy. She is currently doing her masters in Spanish Journalism at Florida International University. She is passionate about fashion and journalism and her goal is to be able to work as a reporter in a Latin American channel.