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Deadly July 4 parade: Shots, then a frantic rush to escape

For many people, the mass shooting that killed at least seven people and injured 30 others in a Chicago suburb on July 4 was yet another reminder that any place, any event in the U.S. can turn dangerous or deadly. Highland Park is one of the country’s safest towns, and July 4th parades among the most American of celebrations. Even before Monday’s killings, some people already were on edge, questioning whether to venture into large gatherings, looking over their shoulders during even the most run-of-the-mill activities, from grocery shopping to going to school or catching a movie.

Parade shooting suspect bought 5 weapons despite threats

The man accused of opening fire at an Independence Day parade in suburban Chicago legally bought five weapons, including two high-powered rifles. Authorities said Tuesday that the purchases were allowed even though police were called to his home twice in 2019 for threats of violence and suicide. The suspect was charged with seven counts of murder. Lake County State’s Attorney Eric Rinehart promised that dozens more charges would be sought and that the man could receive a mandatory life sentence without the possibility of parole. The assailant sprayed more than 70 rounds from a rooftop into a crowd in Highland Park, an affluent community of about 30,000 on the Lake Michigan shore.

New evacuations for communities near California forest fire

Evacuation orders have been expanded for remote communities near a wildfire that's chewing through California forests. The Sierra Nevada Gold Country fire tripled in size to more than 4.7 square miles Tuesday. The fire erupted on the Fourth of July at a recreation area packed with people. Between 85 to 100 celebrating at a river were forced to take shelter at a Pacific Gas & Electric Co. facility. Amador County Sheriff Gary Redman says they were safely evacuated. Evacuations are in place for parts of Amador and Calaveras counties. Redman suggested fireworks or a barbeque as a possible fire cause.

Parents of boy, 2, found alone at parade shooting among dead

The parents of a 2-year-old boy who got lost during the July 4 parade shooting in suburban Chicago are among the seven people who were killed, authorities said as friends and family mourned their lost loved ones. Officials say 37-year-old Kevin McCarthy and 35-year-old Irina McCarthy, 35 were fatally shot while watching the parade in Highland Park, a Chicago suburb. Their son, Aiden, became separated from them in the chaos. Authorities identified four others who died as Katherine Goldstein, 64; Jacquelyn Sundheim, 63; Stephen Straus, 88; and Nicolas Toledo-Zaragoza, 78. Every victim was from Highland Park except for Toledo-Zaragoza, who was living with his family in the city but originally came from Morelos, Mexico. Officials haven’t identified the seventh victim.

Cowboys criticized over deal with gun-themed coffee company

The Dallas Cowboys sparked criticism on social media after announcing a marketing agreement with a coffee company that sells blends with names like “AK-47 Espresso” and “Murdered Out.” News of the partnership with the Black Rifle Coffee Company came one day after more than a half-dozen people died in a shooting at a Fourth of July parade in suburban Chicago. Black Rifle's founder is a U.S. Army veteran who has made support of veterans one of the tenets of the company. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has been a steadfast supporter of the military.

Judge won’t block law banning most Mississippi abortions

A Mississippi judge has rejected a request by the state’s only abortion clinic to temporarily block a state law that would ban most abortions. Judge Debbra K. Halford rejected the request Tuesday. Attorneys argued over abortion laws in three Southern states in response to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that gave states the power to limit or outlaw the termination of pregnancies. Elsewhere, Florida’s new 15-week abortion ban was blocked but then quickly reinstated Tuesday. In Louisiana, the state attorney general has asked the state Supreme Court to allow enforcement of a ban on most abortions.