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Illinois GOP governor nominee says 'move on' after Chicago-area July Fourth parade shooting

The nominee, state Sen. Darren Bailey, later said intent was to "pray for the victims" and others but didn't issue apology

Published: July 5, 2022 8:25am

Updated: July 5, 2022 9:30am

Hours following the mass shooting at a Chicago-area July Fourth parade, Illinois GOP gubernatorial nominee Darren Bailey said it was time to "move on" and "celebrate" the nation's independence.

Bailey, a state senator, went live on Facebook after the Highland Park shooting, from the neighboring suburb of Skokie, where he was planning to attend a parade. In the wake of the shooting, the parade was canceled.

Bailey asked for prayers for the families impacted, as well as law enforcement and parade organizers. 

"There’s a lot of confusion and frustration that the parade’s being cancelled but they did the right thing because people’s safety has got to come first," said Bailey said, when the shooter, who killed six people and injured more than two-dozen others, was still at large with police described as a "high-powered rifle." 

"Let's pray for justice to prevail and then let’s move on and let’s celebrate the independence of this nation," also said Bailey, who was positioned among a group of supporters holding signs. "Bless us and protect us as we go about our day celebrating the most amazing country."

A spokesperson for Bailey told VICE News that the politician's intent was not to diminish "the pain being felt across our state today."

Bailey in a statement: "I am heartbroken by today’s tragic events and the pain and loss felt by so many. My intent was to pray for the victims and those affected by today’s tragedy and for the shooter to be caught and prosecuted without further loss."

He also said now is the time to address mental health issues and the uptick in violent crime and across the nation. 

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