Highland Park comes together to heal after a deadly mass shooting; “We are still processing”
HIGHLAND PARK, Ill. (CBS) — The Highland Park community came together in healing on Tuesday evening, pausing to pray, after seven people were killed and at least 38 injured in Monday’s mass shooting during the July 4 parade.
“Amazing Grace” filled the air as parishioners at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church reflected on their pain.
“You have to share it, not only the pain, but also the peace that can come from prayer,” said Alena Laube.
Many in the Highland Park community are relying on their faith as they deal with the deadly 4th of July parade shooting.
Laube’s friend was among dozens injured, but survived the gunfire.
“A girlfriend ran the other way and ended up with a bullet in her jaw. She apparently ricocheted off the sidewalk or she would have died,” she said.
Those seeking clarity mingled with the congregation. Laura Lambercht said she was grateful to have escaped the chaos unscathed.
“All of a sudden people started running in the opposite direction of the parade…and I was like, ‘What’s going on?'” she said.
Authorities said the gunman fired at least 70 shots from a rooftop above the parade route, firing randomly into the crowd.
More than 24 hours after the fatal parade shooting, the community of Highland Park wants to heal, and prayer is one way.
“It’s tough. I mean, I don’t know what to do. So here I am,” Lambercht said.
This is why so many people filled the Immaculate Church for a mass on healing and peace. The prayers went up a few blocks from where the heartbreak began.
“I just wanted to be with everyone, because we’re still processing,” Lambercht said.
Cardinal Blase Cupich presided over the Mass, which deviated from the traditional message to directly address gun violence.
“High-powered weapons have no place on our streets,” he said. “There is no reason why we need weapons of war on our streets, and that was my message.”
Cupich also read a letter from Pope Francis, which also calls for tougher gun laws. Parishioners said they were happy to see the church speaking out and demanding change.