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Businesses are open for the first time since July 4 parade shooting

HIGHLAND PARK, Ill. (AP) — A business district that had been blocked since a July 4 parade mass shooting that left seven people dead reopened Sunday morning in the Chicago suburb of Highland Park.

The 2-block by 3-block area consists largely of small shops and restaurants. It had been blocked off with crime scene tape, barricades and uniformed officers since Monday as the FBI and other law enforcement agencies processed evidence.

The street was generally quiet shortly after police removed the barricades, except for news media vehicles, a few other vehicles and people walking.

“We came out at 5:30 this morning. It was open,” said Dale Miller, 70, who said was walking his dog, Milo, near where the shooting occurred. “This is our first walk of the day.”

He said he did not attend the parade this year but lives about 100 yards (91 meters) away and heard the gunshots, though he didn’t realize what they were until his brother called him from Florida in a panic.

“We just have fireworks going off here, that’s all,” Miller said he told his brother. “So the fireworks weren’t fireworks.”

He got many other calls after word spread about the shooting, including one from his daughter, a teacher in Florida.

“She called me up in tears and said ‘I’ve lost my safe haven,'” Miller recounted. “‘Highland Park was always the one place I could go where I was safe and that’s taken away.'”

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