U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris
Highland Park Shooting: What We Know As Man Arrested After July 4 Shooting Photo by Jim Vondruska/Getty Images

The United States Vice President Kamala Harris traveled to Chicago on Tuesday to visit the Fourth of July shooting scene in Highland Park, Illinois after calling out Congress to have "the courage to act" and renew the assault weapons ban in connection to the killings.

Harris was speaking at the beginning of the National Education Association 2022 Annual Meeting and Representative Assembly at the McCormick Convention Center. "I want to just briefly, but importantly, address the tragedy just miles away in Highland Park. As we all know, yesterday should have been a day to come together with family and friends to celebrate our nation's independence. And instead, that community suffered a violent tragedy."

Harris went to Chicago on Tuesday with her husband, Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff to visit the shooting scene in Highland Park. She rode in a motorcade from the convention out to Highland Park. Harris was also joined by Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering, U.S. Rep. Brad Schneider and State Senator Julie Morrison during the visit.

"Children, parents, grandparents, victims, a senseless act of gun violence. And Doug, who is here with me, he and I, of course, we mourn, as you do for those who were killed, and we pray for those who were injured and we all grieve, I know for the lives that have forever changed in that community, including, of course, the students and the teachers of that community who have suffered great loss."

"We need to end this horror. We need to stop this violence. And we must protect our communities from the terror of gun violence," the vice president continued, also sharing that people are still mourning on the Uvalde massacre. "We need reasonable gun safety laws and we need to have Congress to stop protecting those gun manufacturers with the liability shield, repeal it, repeal it," she said.

According to Harris, the current administration already made some progress; pointing out the bipartisan gun safety bill that President Joe Biden signed. She also mentioned the government's funding plan for mental health services and school security. The legislation worked together after the recent mass shootings at a Uvalde, Texas, elementary school and a Buffalo, New York, supermarket that was reportedly in a predominantly Black neighborhood.

The gunman, 22-year-old Robert "Bobby" E. Crimo III, reportedly opened fire on Monday, during the 4th of July parade, killing Katherine Goldstein, 64, Irina McCarthy, 35, Kevin McCarthy, 37, Jacquelyn Sundheim, 63, and Stephen Straus, 88, all from Highland Park, and Nicolas Toledo-Zaragoza of Morelos, Mexico, 78. More than 30 have been injured.

Authorities arrested and charged the suspect with first-degree murder. Officials had not yet determined his motive for the shooting. The investigation remains ongoing, although officials believed the suspect legally obtained the weapon used in the shooting.

U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris
U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris speaks, near the scene of a mass shooting yesterday during a Fourth of July parade, on July 5, 2022 in Highland Park, Illinois. Authorities have charged Robert “Bobby” E. Crimo III, 22, with seven counts of first-degree murder in the attack that also injured 47, according to published reports. Photo by Jim Vondruska/Getty Images

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