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Double-amputee veteran Sen. Duckworth: ‘Last time I heard gunfire like Highland Park was in Iraq’

Tammy Duckworth said a video of the shooting in Highland Park Monday reminded her of the sounds she heard during deployment in the Iraq War as she pushed for more gun reforms.

‘I just listened to the sound of that gunfire from one of the videos that was captured,’ Duckworth said in remarks from the scene on July 4.

‘And let me tell you that the last time I heard a weapon with that capacity firing that rapidly on a Fourth of July was Iraq,’ the Illinois Senator continued. ‘It was not the United States of America. We can and we should and we will do better.’

Duckworth is a combat veteran who was an Army helicopter pilot. In 2004 she became the first female double amputee from the Iraq War when she lost both of her legs after her helicopter was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade.

She also is a Democratic senator for Illinois, serving with Majority Whip Dick Durbin.

A gunman opened fire in the affluent Highland Park, Illinois on Independence Day on Monday, killing six and injuring two dozen others.

Robert ‘Bobby’ Crimo III is the main suspect of the massacre. The 22-year-old rapper supports former President Donald Trump. He goes by ‘Awake the Rapper’ and has more than 16,000 listeners per month on Spotify.

Crimo was ‘known to law enforcement’ but it is not yet known if this was due to the disturbing content he shared online, or if he committed other crimes.

Senator Tammy Duckworth, a double-amputee veteran, said Monday that she hasn’t heard a scene like the Highland Park, Illinois shooting since she was in an active combat zone in Iraq

Tactical officers gather in Highland Park, Illinois on Monday, July 4, 2022 in the man hunt for the shooter at an Independence Day parade who killed six and injured two dozen others

Tactical officers gather in Highland Park, Illinois on Monday, July 4, 2022 in the man hunt for the shooter at an Independence Day parade who killed six and injured two dozen others

Robert 'Bobby' Crimo III, 22, (pictured) is the main suspect of the massacre. In one online bio, Crimo boasted of having a net worth of $100,000 and his Spotify page for 'Awake the Rapper' has over 16,000 monthly listens

Robert ‘Bobby’ Crimo III, 22, (pictured) is the main suspect of the massacre. In one online bio, Crimo boasted of having a net worth of $100,000 and his Spotify page for ‘Awake the Rapper’ has over 16,000 monthly listens

​​Hours after the shooting, Duckworth spoke at a press conference.

‘This morning, I got up like most Americans, like the families of the six who were killed, to celebrate life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,’ she began her comments. ‘Those six families no longer have that opportunity. My heart goes out to those families who will never see their loved ones again.’

She also called for a ban on assault rifles and high capacity magazines – claiming the bipartisan gun reform bill just signed by President Joe Biden isn’t enough.

‘Today, we have seen that we can’t just stop there,’ she said.

‘We have to do more to keep our community safe. We have to get rid of assault weapons, high-capacity magazines, and so many other additional commonsense reforms that wide majorities of Americans are crying out for.’

Duckworth is a combat veteran who was an Army helicopter pilot (left). In 2004 she became the first female double amputee from the Iraq War when she lost both of her legs after her helicopter was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade

Among those killed at the July 4 parade on Monday were synagogue teacher Jacki Sundheim, a married mother, and grandfather Nicolas Toledo, 78.

The Four others have not yet been named.

Another 25 people aged between eight and 85 suffered gunshot wounds and six of them remain in hospital.

Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering said she never though a tragedy like this would happen in her town and said the community is waiting for charges to be levied against Crimo.

‘I don’t know where the gun came from,’ Rotering told NBC News’ Today on Tuesday morning. ‘But I do know that it was legally obtained.’

‘And I think at some point this nation needs to have a conversation about these weekly events involving the murder of dozens of people with legally obtained guns,’ she continued. ‘If that is what our laws stand for, then I think we need to re-examine the laws.’

President Joe Biden slammed the gunman who opened fire on an Independence Day parade and said there is still more work that needs done on gun reform.

‘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 following the attack.

Crimo is pictured during his arrest after an hours-long manhunt following the massacre in which six people were killed

Crimo is pictured during his arrest after an hours-long manhunt following the massacre in which six people were killed

‘I have spoken to Governor Pritzker and Mayor Rotering, and have offered the full support of the Federal government to their communities,’ he said. ‘I also surged Federal law enforcement to assist in the urgent search for the shooter, who remains at large at this time’.

The shooting happened the month after Congress passed and Biden signed the first major gun reform legislation since the 1990s.

‘But there is much more work to do, and I’m not going to give up fighting the epidemic of gun violence,’ the president insisted.

A rooftop shooter on Monday killed six and injured at least 24 others after opening fire at a July 4th parade in the affluent Chicago suburb of Highland Park on Monday.

The shooter is said to have been perched on the roof of what was an outdoor outfitting store, picking off people in the crowd who at first confused the sound of gunshots with Independence Day fireworks.

Vice President Kamala Harris also said Monday that she will still be traveling to Chicago on Tuesday.

President Joe Biden said there 'more work' is needed on gun reforms after a gunman opened fire on a July 4 parade in Illinois on Sunday

President Joe Biden said there ‘more work’ is needed on gun reforms after a gunman opened fire on a July 4 parade in Illinois on Sunday

The parade on Monday in Highland Park was attended by dozens of locals who sat on the sidewalk cheering as bands marched past

The parade on Monday in Highland Park was attended by dozens of locals who sat on the sidewalk cheering as bands marched past

The parade in Highland Park was attended by dozens of locals who sat on the sidewalk cheering as bands marched past 

‘So the President and I have been in close coordination and we are being briefed on what’s happening right now in terms of the active shooter situation,’ Harris told reporters after arriving at Santa Monica Fire Station #2 on Monday.

‘I am going to travel to Chicago tomorrow morning to address the National Association of Educators NEA,’ the vice president continued.

‘When we look at the issue of gun violence, and when we look at the dangers that it presents to communities, it ranges and it is something that we should take very seriously,’ she said. ‘The President recently signed bipartisan legislation to address the issue of gun violence but we clearly have much more to do.’

Other Democratic lawmakers also expressed outrage in the wake of the most recent mass shooting as it juxtaposed with Independence Day celebrations across the country.

‘Today a shooter struck in Highland Park during the Independence Day parade,’ the representative for the district where the shooting took place wrote on Twitter. ‘My campaign team and I were gathering at the start of the parade when the shooting started. My team and I are safe and secure. We are monitoring the situation closely and in touch with the Mayor.’

‘Hearing of loss of life and others injured,’ Democratic Congressman Brad Schneider added. ‘My condolences to the family and loved ones; my prayers for the injured and for my community; and my commitment to do everything I can to make our children, our towns, our nation safer. Enough is enough!’

‘As families come together to celebrate America, they are gunned down in the scourge of gun violence plaguing it,’ Senator Ed Markey tweeted on Monday. ‘This is a tragedy.’

‘The Bipartisan Gun Law was a first step, but Congress must do more to stop this deadly epidemic and save lives,’ he added, urging more gun control after an overarching gun regulation bill made it through Congress last month.

Hawaii Democratic Senator Brian Schatz tweeted: ‘This militia is not well regulated at all.’

Assistant House Speaker Katherine Clark of Massachusetts wrote following the July 4 shooting that when ‘no place in the USA is safe from gun terror’ it means that ‘no place is truly free.’

Illinois Senator Dick Durbin, who is the Democratic Whip, described the shooting as ‘horrific’.

‘To face senseless gun violence while out celebrating Independence Day is nothing short of horrific,’ Durbin tweeted in response to the shooting. ‘The nation’s prayers are with Highland Park today.’

‘My office is closely monitoring the situation and will stay in contact with local leaders and law enforcement,’ the Illinois lawmaker added.

The shooter is described as being between 18 and 20 years old, of ‘slight build’ with long black hair. He is wearing a white or a blue t-shirt and used a rifle in the attack that he abandoned before fleeing.

Police say he was shooting from a roof along the parade route. The shooting began some 20 minutes after the start of the parade.

California Democratic Representative Karen Bass posted to Twitter: ‘Living in fear of mass shootings is not independence. Living in fear of mass shootings is not freedom.’

‘It’s our patriotic duty to do more in Congress to keep Americans safe & get guns off our streets,’ she added. ‘Wishing you a SAFE July 4th.’

Chicago Sun Times reporter Lynn Sweet was at the parade when gunfire rang out.

She has since shared photos and videos from the event which show people lying on the ground, and has described it as a ‘bloodbath’. 

The parade on Monday in Highland Park was attended by dozens of locals who sat on the sidewalk cheering as bands marched past

Panicked parade goers at the scene on Monday. There were loud sounds from the crowd that some said were gunshots

Panicked parade goers at the scene on Monday. There were loud sounds from the crowd that some said were gunshots  

The bloody scene in Highland Park, Illinois, on Monday after a shooter opened fire on a Fourth of July parade shortly after 10am

The bloody scene in Highland Park, Illinois, on Monday after a shooter opened fire on a Fourth of July parade shortly after 10am

Strollers and chairs were abandoned at the scene after the shots rang out at 10.14am, just ten minutes after the parade began

Strollers and chairs were abandoned at the scene after the shots rang out at 10.14am, just ten minutes after the parade began

The aftermath of the scene in Highland Park on Monday after a shooter opened fire on the parade. Chairs and strollers were abandoned by attendees

The aftermath of the scene in Highland Park on Monday after a shooter opened fire on the parade. Chairs and strollers were abandoned by attendees  

Highland Park is around 30 miles north of the city of Chicago and is a quiet, suburban area

Highland Park is around 30 miles north of the city of Chicago and is a quiet, suburban area

Witnesses described a ‘sickening’ scene and is it feared that children are among the dead. 

‘I saw multiple lifeless bodies, people in a pool of blood. 

‘It is sickening. If this can happen here in our suburb it can happen anywhere,’ he added, a reference to the quiet suburb’s low-crime,’ witness Miles Zaremski told CNN. 

‘I have never seen this and I’d hope no American would ever see this. I saw 12 to 24 injuries.

‘I saw a couple of lifeless bodies on the ground.’ 

He told The Chicago Sun Times that he heard shots being fired in quick succession.

‘So it couldn’t have been just a handgun or a shotgun,’ he said. 

President Biden – who has been calling for gun reform since the Uvalde shooting on May 24 which claimed 19 lives – has not yet commented on the shooting. 

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has been briefed.  

Debbie Glickman, a Highland Park resident, said she was on a parade float with coworkers and the group was prepared to turn onto the main route when she saw people running away from the area.

‘People started saying `There’s a shooter, there’s a shooter, there is a shooter” Glickman said. 

‘So we just ran. We just ran. It’s like mass chaos down there. I’m so freaked out,’ she said. 

‘We can’t believe this happened in our little town.’ 

Matt Phillip, 36, director of tasting room operating at Lynfred Winery, told DailyMail.com: ‘We were open early for the parade and upon hearing what sounded like fireworks, we noticed that people started running down the street.’

‘We opened our doors so they could either seek shelter within our facility or exit through our back-alley door.’

He said thirty people sheltered inside his store. There is still a shelter-in-place order in Highland Park.  

'Frozen in time': Strollers, wagons, balloons and toys were immediately abandoned as families ran for their lives on Monday

‘Frozen in time’: Strollers, wagons, balloons and toys were immediately abandoned as families ran for their lives on Monday

HIGHLAND PARK, IL - JULY 04: First responders work the scene of a shooting at a Fourth of July parade on July 4, 2022 in Highland Park, Illinois. Reports indicate at least six people were killed and more than 20 injured in the mass shooting

HIGHLAND PARK, IL – JULY 04: First responders work the scene of a shooting at a Fourth of July parade on July 4, 2022 in Highland Park, Illinois. Reports indicate at least six people were killed and more than 20 injured in the mass shooting

First responders work the scene of a shooting at a Fourth of July parade on July 4, 2022 in Highland Park, Illinois. Reports indicate at least five people were killed and 19 injured in the mass shooting

First responders work the scene of a shooting at a Fourth of July parade on July 4, 2022 in Highland Park, Illinois. Reports indicate at least five people were killed and 19 injured in the mass shooting

Among those missing are the parents of one of her friends, she said. 

Highland Park is renowned for being one of Chicago’s most affluent suburbs; Michael Jordan owns a mansion in the area, and it is also where enormous mansion featured in Home Alone is. 

It is among a cluster of wealthy suburbs along the North Shore next to Lake Michigan. 

The town’s Mayor, Nancy Rotering, spoke briefly at a press conference along with law enforcement on Monday to share her condolences with the families of those killed. 

None of the victims have been named and it’s unclear how old they are.  

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot tweeted: ‘The tragedy unfolding in Highland Park is devastating.

‘I have been in contact with Mayor Rotering and have offered our support, and the Chicago Police Department is providing assistance. 

‘We grieve with the families of the deceased and injured as well as the entire Highland Park community. 

‘Law enforcement is working hard to bring the shooter into custody. 

‘If anyone has information, we encourage them to call 911 and report what you know.’ 

Unlike Chicago, which has one of the worst gun violence records in the country, violent crime in Highland Park is almost unheard of.  

The average price of a home in Highland Park was $714,000 in April 2022 and the city has a population of around 30,000. 

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Read more at DailyMail.co.uk