Highland Park’s first city council meeting since the massacre vows to fight for tear gas and national assault weapons ban

As Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering’s voice broke and tears welled up in her eyes, fellow City Council members joined her and each other Monday in their first gathering at City Hall since the July 4 massacre. shook hands together.

“I’m so grateful to our entire city team and all the people who have come together to support our community, they’ve treated us with special care and attention, and we’re united in this time of trauma,” Rotering said. “

“Tonight marks another milestone in our journey ahead,” he said.

Six councilors from Rottering and Highland Park observed a moment of silence for the seven people who died and the dozens who were injured.

Arena and Kevin McCarthy, Jackie Sandham, Katherine Goldstein, Eduardo Uvaldo, Nicholas Toledo and Stephen Strauss were killed in the massacre.

Rotering renewed calls for a national ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.

“I won’t stop trying. We won’t stop trying.” He said in a loud voice.

Along with Rotering, Police Chief Lou Jogman and Fire Department Chief Joe Schrage received a standing ovation for their life-saving roles that day.

Highland Park City Council members and Mayor Nancy Rotering give a standing ovation to Highland Park Police Chief Lou Jogman and Fire Department Chief Joe Schrage during Monday’s council meeting at Highland Park City Hall.

Tyler Pascic Lariviere/Sun-Times

As council members discussed and approved a $500,000 grant program for businesses closed for a week in the wake of the shooting, Jogman sat in the back of the room reading dozens of texts and his He had expressed good wishes while replying to those who did not have time. Watch from the day of the shoot.

Chairs and other items left by people for cover the day of the shooting lay on the walkway next to City Hall Monday for people to reclaim. Items have been there for about a week and will remain there for the foreseeable future.

It is uncertain what will happen to them if they are not claimed. They will be kept in storage until city leaders figure it out.

A permanent memorial honoring the victims of the shooting will eventually be built in Highland Park. But city leaders said they would put the effort on hold to give the community time to mourn.

One of the few residents who attended the meeting was Herbert Cruz, whose apartment is directly next to the building where the shooter sat while firing dozens of rounds.

Cruz was in the parade and had arrived home with his wife when bullets flew over his head.

At the time, she thought the shooter was probably on the roof of her building and might have fallen through a skylight in her apartment.

In the days after the shooting, Cruz, 62, an art teacher, created portraits of each person killed in the shooting and temporarily placed them in a public memorial in the city’s Highland Park.

On Monday, he brought the framed portraits to the council meeting and asked that they be taken care of and perhaps presented to surviving family members.

“I don’t know what to do with them right now — I’m leaving tomorrow,” he said during a portion of the meeting set aside for public comments.

“I don’t feel safe in this building anymore,” he said, despite the surveillance cameras and lights that have been placed in the alley behind his home since the day of the shooting.

Cruz said he plans to move anyway but is expediting the move to Colorado.

“Thank you,” Rotering said. “We’ll be thinking of you. . . and we’ll make sure they’re kept safe and taken care of.

Also on Monday’s agenda was approving the minutes of an emergency City Council meeting held the morning of the shooting to seek emergency powers, City Manager Ghida Neukirch said.

Most of the council members were present at the parade.

“Over the last three weeks, this community has really brought out the best in Highland Park,” Newkirch said.

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