Some residents rethink 4th of July plans after fatal shooting in Highland Park

Published: Jul. 4, 2022 at 10:29 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - News of Monday’s fatal shooting in Highland Park forces a few area residents to rethink their plans for the 4th of July.

Most expressed confidence in area law enforcement that officers will do everything to keep everyone safe.

One resident 23 News talked to before Rockford’s parade says someone told her not to go, but she disagreed with them and praised the police presence.

“I didn’t know anything about that until the last minute, but we’re protected,” says Prophet Yusef, who attended the parade.

News of Monday’s fatal shooting at Highland Park’s 4th of July parade spread quickly across the country. While many waiting for Rockford’s parade said they share concerns about the tragedy, it didn’t stop them from spending time with family and friends.

“I don’t worry about stuff like that. It’s sad what happened, for the kids it’s wrong. I know it’s a trying time in this country but I just worry about it for the kids. I hope nothing happens to the kids,” says parade attendee Ed Adams.

Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara says:

“While today’s shooting in Highland Park was horrific, it is the type of incident we plan for when handling security for large events. The safety of the participants and the public is at the forefront of all decision-making. Our incredible police officers will be on the streets working to ensure our community remains safe.”

“I saw a couple of police officers walking around I’m sure they had a couple more after that but concerns no. I’m just excited to be out in downtown Rockford for the 4th of July,” says parade attendee Sammy Heaton.

One resident said on social media she won’t go to Rockford or Cherry Valley for fireworks in fear of another fatal shooting, but most we spoke with say the fourth of July is about celebrating our freedoms and showing unity.

“I think it’s a great thing for the city of Rockford that brings people to Rockford and the state because they see the community is together,” says Yusef.

“It said rain or shine the parade is still going to go on so I was like just bring them here, we will still sit outside for the parade,” says Heaton.

“Seeing all the people coming out and having a good time. A lot of people don’t have a lot of money. The fireworks are always amazing every year,” says Adams.

The fireworks went off as planned. The city says once the fireworks are set up in mortars, they must be fired.

The suspected Highland Park shooter is in custody.

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