Vice President Kamala Harris and her husband Doug Emhoff visited a Santa Monica fire station Monday, where Harris briefly addressed the deadly shooting at a July Fourth parade in the Chicago suburb of Highland Park.
Harris, who was at her Brentwood home this weekend, arrived via motorcade at Santa Monica Fire Station #2 at 222 Hollister Ave. at 1:08 p.m. She and Emhoff spoke to 14 firefighters for about seven minutes and posed for a photo with them, according to a White House press pool report.
Afterward, she touched on the shooting in Illinois, and said she planned to keep a previously scheduled appointment in Chicago on Tuesday.
“So the president and I have been in close coordination and we are being briefed on what’s happening right now in terms of the active shooter situation. We are sending federal resources to local law enforcement folks on the ground to make sure that we can help them in terms of the capture of the shooter and any investigation that will follow,” Harris said.
“But right now we do have an active shooter situation and so we are putting all of the resources possible into monitoring that in a way that we can bring this to a close in terms of also capture of that individual.
“I am going to travel to Chicago tomorrow morning to address the National Association of Educators NEA,” she continued. “And I was just sharing with some of our heroes, our local firefighters that part of what I’m preparing, sadly I was preparing it before — it’s resonant every day — is a whole section on what our teachers go through. They go to school to learn how to teach our children to inspire their ambition to create the future generations of leaders and our teachers are also in training to deal with an active shooter.”
Harris also spoke to the firefighters about what the administration needs do “in particular around federal support for local firefighters on every issue,” noting her own personal history with wildfires in the state.
“We’ve had to be evacuated a couple of times. I’m a California kids were you know about drought and what that means. And I the climate crisis and what that means in terms of creating an environment that is hazardous. Particularly for you, who are on the front line,” she said.
Later she released an official statement that expanded on her remarks about the shooting.
“Doug and I are praying for the dozens of people who have been hospitalized and for the loved ones of those who were lost today,” the statement said. “We are thankful to law enforcement and the first responders who arrived at the scene today and undoubtedly saved lives.
“Today’s shooting is an unmistakable reminder that more should be done to address gun violence in our country.”
This is not the first time Harris has paid a surprise visit to first responders during one of her Southland trips as vice president. She visited a Crenshaw fire station on Dec. 24, 2021, and a Brentwood fire station on July 4 of last year.
Harris is set to speak in Chicago on Tuesday at the National Education Association 2022 Annual Meeting and Representative Assembly.