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Where is Highland Park? What we know about Chicago suburb grieving after parade shooting.

USA TODAY logo USA TODAY 7/5/2022 Cady Stanton, USA TODAY
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Six people were shot and killed Monday morning at a Fourth of July parade in Highland Park, Illinois, an affluent Chicago suburb known for its picturesque homes and tree-lined streets. 

About 25 miles north of Chicago, Highland Park is home to about 30,000 people and is known as a family community where several movies were filmed in the 1980s, including "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" and "Sixteen Candles."

The annual Fourth of July Parade hasn't been held since 2019 due to the pandemic. It was scheduled to begin with a parade for children and pets, followed by a larger parade hosted by the city and park district. But authorities say a gunman opened fire, apparently from a rooftop, on the parade route around 10:15 a.m. local time Monday.

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“Our community is never going to recover from this wound,” Mayor Nancy Rotering said Tuesday on "TODAY." 

“It’s one of those unique things about my hometown, that people come back to raise their children, their grandparents are with them. This is an absolutely devastating blow to all of us.”

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Here's what we know about Highland Park. 

Where is Highland Park?

Highland Park sits about 25 miles north of Chicago along Lake Michigan. The North Shore city is largely made up of suburbs with a central business district as well as a handful of beaches and lakefront trails.

The city has a population of about 30,000, according to the 2020 U.S. Census

Highland Park caters to many families and couples, with about two-thirds of homes being a married-couple/family household. The city is also majority white — 82.3% of residents — while 8.9% are Hispanic or Latino, 3.7% are Asian and 1.6% are Black.

Some neighbors and residents described Highland Park as having a large Jewish community, representative of a significant Jewish population in the northern suburbs of Chicago at-large. U.S. Census data from 2020 does not break down religious affiliation demographic data for the suburb. For example, North Suburban Synagogue Beth El in Highland Park serves about 1,100 families as of 2022, its website says.

In nearby Glencoe, Ill., one of the July Fourth shooting victims, Jacki Sundheim, was a congregant and staff member at North Shore Congregation Israel.

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MOREThe band struck up a joyous tune as they traveled in the parade. Then the shooting started.

What are the gun laws in Highland Park, Illinois?

In 2013, Highland Park leaders enacted a ban on assault rifles in the suburban city. The Supreme Court later declined to hear an appeal seeking to overturn the ordinance.

Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering said she did not know details on how the alleged shooter obtained the high-powered rifle used in the assault on July Fourth, but she said he did so legally.

What is Highland Park known for?

The area has been used for location shots in several films, including the 1980s John Hughes movies "Ferris Bueller's Day Off," "Weird Science," "Sixteen Candles" and "Home Alone," as well as Risky Business." .

Is Highland Park affluent?

Highland Park's population is largely affluent compared to the rest of Illinois: the city's median household income was $147,067 in 2020, more than twice the median household income for the country and the state, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

About three-quarters of the city's residents over the age of 25 have a bachelor's degree or higher. More than 10% of the homes in the city are worth more than $1 million.

What is the Highland Park Fourth of July Parade?

The suburban city's Fourth of July parade normally features "floats, marching bands, novelty groups, community entries and other special entertainment," according to the city's website. The parade then typically leads into a festival with food, music, carnival rides and games, as well as the "Grand Finale" performance of the Bitter Jester Music Festival — an annual professional battle-of-the-bands style festival held throughout the summer in the city.

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Contributing: Grace Hauck, USA TODAY

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Where is Highland Park? What we know about Chicago suburb grieving after parade shooting.

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