GOP congressional candidate accuses Highland Park mayor of shooting parade

In a tweet on Wednesday, the Republican candidate for the 10th congressional district seat called Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering negligent in the deaths of seven people who were shot during the city’s Independence Day parade.

Joseph Severino of Lake Forest has slammed Rotering for not doing more to prevent the 21-year-old Highwood man accused of carrying out the mass shooting from having access to firearms under the Flag Act state red.

“Rotering is why the shooting happened,” Severino’s tweet read. “She was negligent in ensuring that steps were taken to confiscate the gun by court order after learning of the red flag.”

The defendant is accused of opening fire from a rooftop during the parade, injuring more than 50 people and killing Kevin McCarthy, 37, and Irina McCarthy, 35; Katherine Goldstein, 64; Etienne Straus, 88; Jacquelyn Sundheim, 63; Nicolas Toledo-Zaragoza, 78; and Eduardo Uvaldo, 69.

Severino is challenging Democratic U.S. Representative Brad Schneider for the 10th District seat, which represents parts of Cook, Lake and McHenry counties, including Highland Park.

Schneider, a Highland Park resident who was at the parade, criticized Severino’s tweet.

“The entire Highland Park community is justifiably proud of Mayor Rotering’s leadership during his darkest hours,” he wrote. “The police and firefighters who helped that day are heroes. I’m appalled that someone is spreading false information about the shooting and their good work, but even more disgusted by someone doing it for a purpose. policies.”


Severino’s criticism stems from revelations that in 2019 police responded twice to the suspect’s home, once after he allegedly threatened to kill himself and later after he allegedly threatened family members. On the second occasion, police seized 16 knives, a sword and a dagger from the home.

Although this prompted police to send a report of “clear and present danger” to Illinois State Police, the agency later approved a firearms license application from him. .

According to the Firearms Prohibition Orders Act 2019, a family member, intimate partner, roommate or law enforcement officer who believes an individual “presents a danger of harm himself or to inflict on others” by calling on a firefighter can apply to a court for a firearms prohibition order to prohibit the individual from possessing a firearm.

The law does not mention elected officials among those who can request such an order.

But Severino said the mayor and police had “preliminary information about the shooter and had not exercised full authority” to prevent the tragedy from happening.

“Was she negligent in not understanding what was going on around her? Or was she negligent in the way she handled ancillary services and public bodies,” Severino said. , claiming that the mayor was “directly or indirectly responsible”.

Rotering and Highland Park City manager Ghida Neukirch declined to comment on Severino’s remarks.

Schneider campaign manager Matt Fried called Severino’s tweet disgusting and accused him of spreading false information.

“If he had an ounce of decency, he would apologize to Mayor Rotering and the families of the victims whose memory he sullied,” Fried wrote, adding “the bottom line is this: easy access to weapons of “Dangerous and mentally failing assault on our nation’s healthcare systems contribute to the proliferation of monsters like the one that attacked Highland Park on July 4.”

• The Daily Herald news agencies contributed to this report.