Illinois Republican gubernatorial candidate Darren Bailey apologized Monday for telling people to "move on" in a Facebook live stream shortly after a shooting left seven people dead and at least 30 injured at a July 4th parade in Chicago's Highland Park suburb.
"The shooter is still at large. So let's pray for justice to prevail, and then let's move on and let's celebrate the independence of this nation," Bailey said, seen with supporters in Skokie, a nearby suburb. The video started at 11:45 a.m. local time; the shooting was just after 10 a.m.
He said canceling Highland Park's parade following the shooting was proper because people's safety must come first.
Bailey later apologized in a statement, obtained by USA TODAY, and said his "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," he said.
Earlier in the livestream, he led a prayer for law enforcement and victims' families.
In a tweet, Bailey sent out his condolences to the families of those affected by the shooting and said that criminals must be held accountable.
"July 4th is supposed to be a holiday for families, for parades, for celebrating the American Dream, but when people don't feel safe in their own community, they are deprived of that dream," Bailey tweeted.
'Person of interest' detained: Robert Crimo taken into custody as 'person of interest' in Highland Park shooting outside Chicago
The Illinois state senator called for "a special session to address crime on our streets," and that "we need to demand law and order and prosecute criminals."
"We need more police on our streets to keep our families safe. Public safety must be a top priority," Bailey said.
The attacker was later taken into custody in connection with the shooting.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Darren Bailey said he did not mean to diminish Highland Park shooting