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Omahans react following Independence Day mass shooting at Highland Park

Six people died in the shooting, more than two dozen were injured
Posted at 10:52 PM, Jul 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-04 23:52:54-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — This Independence Day was the last day of inaugural events at the new Gene Leahy Mall and people were still ready to celebrate the holiday.

"We just wanted to spend time together as a family and out of Omaha," said Beverly Hylton, a grandparent. "This is one of the best places to come."

This year, the celebration has been marred by tragedy after six people and more than twenty others were injured in a mass shooting near Chicago Monday.

Many at the mall were aware of what happened, hundreds of miles to the east of town, they say it gave them pause before coming out to celebrate the holiday.

"It makes me think twice," said Mary Thorpe, a visitor.

Hylton said she's also concerned not just for her but for her grandkids too.

"I fear for them coming out in public without the staff and security that should be there," she said.

Hylton's daughter Allanna Lackore said she doesn't get out to many events often because she fears a shooting could happen, when she does go out she makes sure to be aware.

She said she likes to know where's the nearest place to go for safety, and where are places she should avoid.

As far as safety at the new mall is concerned, people said so far so good.

"I saw all the police presence and everything," Thorpe said. "I noticed there were a lot of families out so that made me feel good too."

They said they still want to have fun and gather for celebrations, but don't want to let their guard down.

"Just taking in your surroundings, remembering where you are," Lackore said.

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