President Joe Biden condemned the "senseless gun violence" that left six people dead in Illinois ahead of a July 4 barbecue at the White House Monday marking Independence Day. Photo by Chris Kleponis/UPI | License Photo
July 4 (UPI) -- President Joe Biden condemned the "senseless gun violence" that left six people dead in Illinois ahead of a July 4 barbecue at the White House on Monday.
"There was a shooter as you well know in Highland Park in Chicago," Biden told the assembled crowd on the South Lawn following a musical set by Andy Grammer and before of a performance by the United States Marine Band.
"I've talked to the governor and the mayor and we are giving all the help we can give," he said. "We've got more work to do, we've got to get this under control."
Six people died and dozens were wounded in the shooting, which happened around 10 a.m. along the parade route in suburban Highland Park, Ill., about 30 miles north of Chicago. Police had not arrested a suspect by late Monday but had issued a description for a person of interest.
Biden and wife Jill Biden hosted the barbecue for military families. The 42nd annual edition of the even was was capped off by the traditional fireworks display in Washington, D.C.
"Jill and I are shocked by the senseless gun violence that has yet again brought grief to an American community on this Independence Day," Biden said in statement ahead of the event.
"As always, we are grateful for the first responders and law enforcement on the scene. I have spoken to (Illinois) Governor Pritzker and (Highland Park) Mayor Rotering, and have offered the full support of the Federal government to their communities.
"Members of the community should follow guidance from leadership on the ground, and I will monitor closely as we learn more about those whose lives have been lost and pray for those who are in the hospital with grievous injuries," Biden said in his statement.
"The Fourth of July is a sacred day in our country -- it's a time to celebrate the goodness of our nation, the only nation on Earth founded based on an idea: that all people are created equal," the president said in a tweet Monday. "Make no mistake, our best days still lie ahead."
Country music star Mickey Guyton hosted the Independence Day event, which also marked the 100th anniversary of the Lincoln Memorial.
Biden during his speech last year largely discussed the need for vaccinations amid the COVID-19 pandemic as the Delta variant raged.
"Today, we're closer than ever to declaring our independence from a deadly virus," Biden said at the time. "That's not to say the battle against COVID-19 is over. We've got a lot more work to do."
Biden's approval rating has since plummeted amid the continued effects of inflation and the war in Ukraine, among other factors.
A poll from The Economist and YouGov in June shows that 36% of Americans approve of Biden's job performance while 43% strongly disapprove of it.