Darren Bailey apologized for comments he made less than two hours after the Highland Park shooting.
In a livestream, Bailey urged people to “go ahead and celebrate this nation’s independence”.
Bailey later said he was sorry if his comments “reduced the pain in our state.”
A Trump-backed Illinois governor candidate has apologized just hours after Monday’s election for telling people to “go ahead.” mass shooting in Chicago’s Highland Park suburb.
In a Facebook live stream At 11:45 a.m., less than two hours after the incident, Illinois State Senator Darren Bailey was seen with a group of people in the village of Skokie, just outside of Chicago. During the stream, he said Skokie’s July 4 parade had been canceled due to the shooting that left six dead and dozens injured.
“Friends, let’s pray for the police and even the organizers of this parade,” Bailey was heard to say. “The shooter is still at large. So let’s pray for justice to prevail, and then let’s move on and celebrate this nation’s independence.”
police next arrested 22-year-old suspect in shooting on Monday evening.
“We know the mission – we need to get corruption and evil out of our government, and we need to choose men and women of honor and courage to get this country and state back on track,” Bailey continued.
“Now please join me in praying for the bereaved families and for the law enforcement officers doing their job. It’s been a rough weekend in Chicago,” Bailey said, before leading a prayer.
Bailey later released a statement apologizing for some of his comments during the live stream.
“My intention was to pray for the victims and those affected by today’s tragedy and that the gunman be caught and prosecuted without further loss,” Bailey said in a statement seen by Insider. “I’m sorry if we somehow reduced the pain felt in our state today.”
On Twitter, Bailey said that he and his family sent “heartfelt prayers” to the victims of the shooting, and called for a “special hearing to tackle crime in our streets”.
Bailey is a champion of gun rights and once held a raffle for people to win a Hammerli TAC R1 22 rifle to boost ticket sales for a fundraiser.
Bailey got the support of former President Donald Trump in an endorsement in June at a Trump rally† At the event, Trump described Bailey as the “opposite” of current Illinois Democratic governor JB Pritzker.
On Monday, Pritzker struck out at Bailey in a… tweetsaying he “represents the worst of Donald Trump’s agenda.”
“Now with Trump’s approval, Bailey is ready to bring the same dangerous policy to our state,” Pritzker tweeted. “I have always promised that Illinois will be a firewall against Trump’s destructive agenda. We will continue that fight.”
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