A dedicated synagogue worker. A grandfather watching Fourth of July festivities from his wheelchair. These are the victims of a shooting in the Chicago suburb of Highland Park, where celebrations were shattered as a gunman opened fire at a parade, killing seven people and injuring at least two dozen others.
Five victims, all adults, were killed along the parade route Monday, and another victim died at the hospital, according to Lake County Coroner Jennifer Banek. A seventh person died Tuesday, Lake County Deputy Chief Christopher Covelli confirmed to USA TODAY.
The Lake County Coroner’s office released the names of six of the seven victims, ages ranging from 35 to 88, Tuesday afternoon.
The names released are:
- 64-year-old Katherine Goldstein of Highland Park
- 35-year-old Irina McCarthy of Highland Park
- 37-year-old Kevin McCarthy of Highland Park
- 63-year-old Jacquelyn Sundheim of Highland Park
- 88-year-old Stephen Straus of Highland Park
- 78-year-old Nicolas Toledo-Zaragoza of Morelos, Mexico
The seventh victim’s identity has not been released. No children have died, Covelli said Tuesday.
Several vigils and prayer gatherings were planned Tuesday in honor of victims in the suburban city north of Chicago that was left shaken and mourning after its holiday celebrations were marred by the tragedy of yet another mass shooting.
“I’m furious because it does not have to be this way,” Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker said at a news conference Monday.
Here’s what we know about the victims.
Nicolas Toledo, 78
Nicolas Toledo, 76, was among the victims, his granddaughter, Alba Toledo, 23, confirmed in Spanish in a message to USA TODAY, adding their family is “shattered.”
“It’s an enormous pain,” she said.
“Believe me my grandfather was a great person, with an enormous heart, he was the best grandfather, loving, attentive,” she added.
He wasn’t sure he wanted to go to the parade, but his family — who had excitedly set up chairs along the parade route the night before — brought him to the event to watch in his wheelchair, another of his granddaughters, Xochil Toledo, told the Chicago Sun-Times.
When shots rang out, Xochil Toledo said her father tried to shield her grandfather, but Nicolas Toledo died at the scene of the shooting.
Toledo, a great-grandfather and dual Mexican-American citizen, spent most of his life in Morelos, Mexico, and had moved back to Highland Park a few months ago to be with family, Xochil Toledo told the Sun-Times. It is unclear if he is the Mexican national that an official from the Mexican Foreign Ministry’s North America unit said was among the victims.
He had eight children, a big smile and bright, blue eyes, Xochil Toledo told the Sun-Times. He liked a home-cooked meal and had a great sense of humor. Alba Toledo told USA TODAY her grandfather loved drawing, hunting, fishing and going for walks in the park.
“We only wish that he’s remembered as a great person, a hard-working man, a great father and grandfather, charismatic, fun, a fighter and adventurer,” she said.
‘I GRABBED MY KID AND RAN’:6 dead, dozens injured in shooting at July 4th parade in Chicago suburb
Jacquelyn ‘Jacki’ Sundheim, 63
Jacquelyn “Jacki” Sundheim was a dedicated, lifelong congregant and a staff member at North Shore Congregation Israel for decades, according to the synagogue, which confirmed her death in a statement on its website.
Sundheim helped organize events as the synagogue’s events and B’nei Mitzvah coordinator. She also once taught at the Gates of Learning Preschool with “tireless dedication,” according to the statement.
“Jacki’s work, kindness and warmth touched us all,” the synagogue said.
“There are no words sufficient to express the depth of our grief for Jacki’s death and sympathy for her family and loved ones,” it added. “We know you join us in the deepest prayer that Jacki’s soul will be bound up in the shelter of God’s wings and her family will somehow find comfort and consolation amidst this boundless grief.”
Stephen Straus, 88
Stephen Straus, 88, a Chicago financial adviser, was one of the first observers at the parade and attended it every year, his grandchildren said.
Brothers Maxwell and Tobias Straus described their grandfather in an interview with The Associated Press as a kind and active man who loved walking, biking, and attending community events.
“The way he lived life, you’d think he was still middle-aged,” Maxwell Straus said in an interview.
The two brothers recalled Sunday night dinners with their grandparents as a favorite tradition. They said they ate with him the night before he was killed.
“America’s gun culture is killing grandparents,” said Maxwell Straus. “It’s very just terrible.”
Katherine Goldstein, 64
Katherine Goldstein’s husband described her as an easygoing travel companion who was always game to visit far-flung locales.
“She didn’t complain,” Craig Goldstein told The New York Times. “She was always along for the ride.”
Goldstein, of Highland Park, was a mother of two daughters in their early 20s: Cassie and Alana. She attended the parade with her older daughter so that Cassie could reunite with friends from high school, Craig Goldstein, a hospital physician, told the newspaper.
Dr. Goldstein said his wife had recently lost her mother and had given thought to what kind of arrangements she might want when she dies.
He recalled that Katherine, an avid bird watcher, said she wanted to be cremated and to have her remains scattered in the Montrose Beach area of Chicago, where there is a bird sanctuary.
Irina McCarthy, 35; Kevin McCarthy 37
Irina McCarthy’s childhood friend, Angela Vella, described McCarthy as fun, personable, and “somewhat of a tomboy” who still liked to dress up nicely.
“She definitely had her own style, which I always admired,” Vella told The Associated Press.
Irina and Kevin McCarthy were the parents of 2-year-old Aiden, who was found bloody and alone by bystanders. His photo was shared across social media and news outlets with a plea to identify him. He was reunited with his grandparents Monday evening.
Friends of the McCarthys said Irina’s parents would raise him going forward.
Contributing: Adrianna Rodriguez and Scott Gleeson, USA TODAY; The Associated Press