Darren Bailey Says 'Let's Move On' Hours After Highland Park Shooting

Illinois gubernatorial candidate Darren Bailey posted a video in which he said "let's move on and celebrate the independence of this nation" hours after a deadly mass shooting a Fourth of July parade in suburban Chicago.

Bailey, a Republican, shared a Facebook Live video about 12p.m. CT (1.p.m. ET) on Monday, about two hours after the shootings began—shortly after 10a.m. CT (11a.m. ET)—in the city's Highland Park suburb.

At least six were killed and 30 injured in the latest mass shooting to stun the U.S., this time on the day Americans united to celebrate the nation's founding. Police have taken 22-year-old "person of interest" Robert E. Crimo III into custody following a manhunt.

Bailey's campaign later issued a clarification following criticism, apologizing "if in any way we diminished the pain being felt across our state today."

Bailey's broadcast was made from Skokie, near Highland Park, where another July 5 parade was canceled following the shooting.

Darren Bailey addresses a crowd
Republican gubernatorial primary candidate Illinois State Senator Darren Bailey addresses the crowd after winning the Republican primary, Tuesday, June 28, 2022, in Effingham, Ill. Bailey's campaign team issued a clarification after the candidate called on people to "move on" hours after a deadly mass shooting in Chicago. AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast

In the Facebook broadcast, the Republican noted that a shooting had taken place and called for prayers for those affected and for parade organizers.

"They've done an amazing job," Bailey said. "There's a lot of confusion and frustration that the parade's being cancelled but they did the right thing because people's safety has got to come first. The shooter is still at large, so let's pray for justice to prevail."

He continued: "And then let's move on and let's celebrate the independence of this nation. We know the mission. We have got to get corruption and evil out of our government, and we have got to elect men and women of honor and courage to get this country and this state back on track."

Bailey's initial broadcast elicited criticism on social media.

Former MSNBC host Keith Olbermann called Bailey "Trump's soulless candidate," tweeting: "After a mass shooting miles away Bailey sums up the @GOP: 'let's move on and celebrate the independence of this nation.' To hell with him and all who support him."

USA TODAY columnist Rex Huppke tweeted: "'Let's move on.' That's really the GOP's slogan after every mass shooting."

Bailey's campaign later issued a clarification to Vice.

"I am heartbroken by today's tragic events and the pain and loss felt by so many," it read.

"My intent was to pray for the victims and those affected by today's tragedy and for the shooter to be caught and prosecuted without further loss

"I apologize if in any way we diminished the pain being felt across our state today. I hope we can all come together in prayer and action to address rampant crime and mental heath issues to make sure these horrific tragedies don't happen again."

Newsweek has contacted Bailey's representatives for comment.

Bailey won the GOP nomination by a landslide—with 57.7 percent of the vote—on June 28, having been endorsed by former President Donald Trump a week earlier.

Bailey is challenging Democratic Governor JB Pritzker.

In response to the shooting, Pritzker called for people to "be angry" and said that there was "no better time than right here and right now" to discuss guns.

"I'm furious that children and their families have been traumatized. I'm furious that this is happening in communities all across Illinois and America. I'm furious because it does not have to be this way. And yet we as a nation, well, we continue to allow this to happen," the governor said.

"There are going to be people who say that today is not the day, that now is not the time to talk about guns."

"I'm telling you, there is no better day and no better time than right here and right now. It's the Fourth of July, a day for reflection on our freedoms. Our founders carried muskets, not assault weapons. And I don't think a single one of them would have said that you have a constitutional right to an assault weapon with a high-capacity magazine," he added.