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5 Jul, 2022 12:57

White Sox cancel fireworks after July 4 shooting spree

Six people were killed and 30 left injured by the shootings
White Sox cancel fireworks after July 4 shooting spree

MLB team the Chicago White Sox contacted the league about postponing their meeting with the Minnesota Twins after a gunman opened fire on a July 4 Independence Day parade on Monday, killing six people. 

While the game still went ahead and on time, a fireworks show scheduled for its conclusion had to be canceled.

Furthermore, a moment of silence was held before the first pitch was thrown in the eventual 6-3 victory for the Twins. 

In a statement, the White Sox said their hearts were with the Highland Park community where the attack took place. Robert E. Crimo III, 21, has been arrested on suspicion of carrying out the horrific incident. 

"The entire Chicago White Sox organization expresses our deepest sympathies to the families and friends of the innocent victims of today's horrific shooting and all of those who have been affected by this tragedy," the franchise said.

Authorities say that Crimo opened fire on the parade in the Highland Park community at around 10:15 local time when it was about three quarters of the way through.

This sent hundreds of marchers, children on bicycles and parents with babies in pushchairs fleeing for safety, and Lake County Major Crime Task Force spokesman Christopher Covelli claimed that Crimo used a now-recovered "high-powered rifle'' to fire from a secluded spot on top of him a commercial building which made him "very difficult to see".

Members of the White Sox organization criticized how easy it is to obtain such firearms and the frequency with which mass shootings are occurring in the US as of late with a further 30 people injured in Highland Park.

"I think the access to the weaponry that is being used... something needs to change," demanded White Sox player Liam Hendriks. "Something needs to be done, something needs to happen. Because it's way too many people losing their lives.

"It's not only about the people that are losing their lives, it's the families of them. It's the tragedy that they go through as an entire community, when people are concerned about leaving the house, concerned about doing the day-to-day things of going to work or any number of these things," Hendriks continued. 

"We really need to reflect on what's going on. I don't think enough is being done."

"Unfortunately, it's almost daily,'' remarked White Sox manager Tony La Russa. "Way too frequently.

"Even when there's an explanation, there's no explanation. It doesn't make sense.''

A close-knit community on Lake Michigan, Highland Park was once home to basketball legend Michael Jordan when he played for the Chicago Bills, with the NBA franchise also remarking on the tragedy.

"What happened today in Highland Park was horrifying and senseless,'' said the Bulls in their own statement.

"Over the years, Highland Park has been home to many members of Bulls nation, including a number of Bulls players and staff. Our connection with the community is personal, and it holds a particularly special place in our heart. We are grieving with the community and everyone affected, and we support them as we all mourn this tragedy," the Bulls continued.

The Bulls also said that gun violence "inflicts pain on our friends, neighbors, families, businesses, and communities", with the Highland Park incident a situation "one that we've been in too many times" while "saying what feels like the same words and expressing the same sentiments".

The team vowed to commit to change and use its resources to solve an "epidemic of gun violence", as the White Sox's rivals the Chicago Cubs said they were "heartbroken and grief-stricken'' by the violence.

In American football, the Chicago Bears branded the shooting "senseless and disgraceful" and hockey side the Chicago Blackhawks stressed that "everyone deserves to feel safe where they live, work and play", which is why such shootings "simply cannot be accepted as commonplace''.

Elsewhere in Chicago and Illinois, several nearby town and cities canceled events which often included parades and fireworks.

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