Fourth of July celebrations will continue as planned in New York City, after NYPD leaders determined there were no “credible threats” to the festivities here in the aftermath of the mass shooting at an Independence Day parade in Illinois.
“We want to assure New Yorkers that there are no specific, credible threats to our July Fourth celebrations here in New York City — and we plan to continue as scheduled,” said Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell in a statement Monday.
“Everyone at the New York City Police Department mourns with the victims and their families during this difficult time, and we fully support the men and women of the Highland Park Police Department as they investigate this tragedy,” the top cop added.
New York officials expressed their shock and outrage at the mass shooting in the Highland Park suburb of Chicago that killed at least six people and injured about two dozen more, according to local law enforcement officials.
“On this day dedicated to freedom, we’re given a tragic reminder that our right to life and liberty will be at risk so long as we continue to allow illegal guns and violent gunmen to go unchecked,” said Mayor Eric Adams in a statement. “We pray for Highland Park today, but the time for real action on gun safety is NOW.”
The shooter used a “high-powered rifle” and shot from the roof of a local business, Highland Park police and fire department representatives told reporters during a press conference Monday afternoon.
Governor Kathy Hochul echoed calls to curb gun violence.
“This should be a day to safely celebrate our rights and freedoms. Instead, the scourge of gun violence has struck yet another community — this time at a Fourth of July parade,” Hochul said. “Highland Park is in our hearts today. We must put an end to gun violence.”
The gunman remained at large Monday afternoon, after rendering the peaceful event into a brutal scene of bloodshed, which President Joe Biden decried as “senseless.”
“Jill and I are shocked by the senseless gun violence that has yet again brought grief to an American community on this Independence Day,” Biden said in a statement released by the White House.
The commander-in-chief said he was offering full federal support for local officials, adding there was “much more work to do” to fight gun violence in the country.
“I recently signed the first major bipartisan gun reform legislation in almost thirty years into law, which includes actions that will save lives,” he said. “But there is much more work to do, and I’m not going to give up fighting the epidemic of gun violence.”