Highland Park, IL

My Brother is a Survivor of The Highland Park 4th of July Shooting

Jordan Mendiola

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Park District of Highland Park

To be honest, I’m not even sure where how to start writing about something like this. A mass shooting occurred on July 4th, 2022 at the Highland Park Parade at about 10:14 am (14 minutes after the parade began at 10 am).

Friends and families gathered along the streets of Highland Park, bringing their lawn chairs, camping chairs, and anything to get ready for the parade.

We have now learned that there are seven deaths and more than 30 injured.

My Side of The Situation

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He, along with his girlfriend and close family members attended the Highland Park 4th of July parade.

My brother and the entire group he went with were in direct fire line of the shooter. They heard bullets whizzing past them, glass shattering, and people running in panic.

I’m at breakfast with my girlfriend when I get a call from his girlfriend Hailey Conner saying “Jordan there was a shooting in highland park and I don’t know where your brother is” nearly made me break down at the diner.

She also told me her cousin Lilli was shot and that she was hiding inside Walker Brothers Pancake House. Josh went back into the crime scene even throughout the chaos and drove Lilli to the Lake Forest Hospital where she needed to get stitches.

For him to tell me that he saw the shooter on the rooftop, aiming his direction and firing terrifies me.

Even though he survived this tragedy, the crippling mental damage is something everyone who was there will have to carry with them forever.

Things like this make me question whether or not I want to attend music festivals and gatherings, but I always have my guard up anywhere I go. It’s frustrating.

I’m just lucky and blessed that I still have my brother.

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One Individual Very Close is Hailey’s Cousin Lilli

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Unfortunately, not everyone was able to get away safely yesterday.

My brother’s girlfriend’s cousin, Lilli Martini Carrasco was struck in the FACE by one of the gunshots.

Even after the horror started to unfold, my brother Joshua Mendiola ran back out onto the panicked streets and took Lilli to the Lake Forest Hospital where she was treated immediately and given 6 stitches.

They couldn’t leave for 6+ hours separated from friends and family at the hospital because it was on lockdown as the shooter was still at large.

I am so proud and saddened that my brother stepped up in such an unthinkable situation. We have to look out for one another in times like these.

Please send your prayers to all of those affected in Highland Park as our city heals.

Link to the Tweet

(Warning the images are graphic): https://twitter.com/h4ndcru.../status/1544141107839352832...

The Aftermath of the Highland Park Shooting

  • A 2-year-old lost both of his parents on the 4th of July.
  • 7 deaths were confirmed.
  • 1 person died at the hospital
  • 30+ injuries
  • Mental and emotional trauma for the unforeseeable future.
  • A hurting community.
  • Anger, frustration, and extreme sadness.
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Final Thought

Even though I was not at the Highland Park Parade at the time of the shooting, I am still very shaken up.

I was sobbing in my car as I drove through Highland Park. I felt so broken and defeated because this was the community I grew up in, went to school, played sports, and made countless memories.

I never felt unsafe in the area and was so frustrated to be placed in a situation of worrying for my loved ones’ safety.

This was one of the many horrific events we’re seeing all over the country and it saddens me. The only thing we can do is not live in fear and always have our guard up in case the worst possible scenario unfolds.

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Creative entrepreneur, U.S. Army Engineer, and dedicated runner. Committed to sharing ideas that lead to more fulfillment in all areas of life. Email: mendiola1829@gmail.com

Chicago, IL
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