Victims of the Highland Park mass shooting: What we know so far

Seven victims killed in the July 4 attack have now been identified

Biden mentions Highland Park shooting in Independence Day speech
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On July 4, Highland Park became the latest community torn apart by gun violence in the US as what was supposed to be family-friendly Independence Day celebrations turned into a bloodbath.

Local residents, families and friends had gathered to enjoy the July 4 parade in the Illinois city when a lone gunman opened fire on the crowds from a sniper position on the roof of a nearby business.

Seven people have so far died in the attack while dozens more were taken to hospitals, several of them suffering from gunshot wounds.

The seven victims were named as: Katherine Goldstein, 64; Irina McCarthy, 35; Kevin McCarthy, 37; Jacquelyn Sundheim, 63; Stephen Straus, 88; Nicolas Toledo-Zaragoza, 78, and Eduardo Uvaldo, 69.

Of the deceased victims, five adults died on the scene. A sixth adult succumbed to their injuries in a local hospital on Monday before Mr Uvaldo became the seventh victim to pass away on Wednesday.

There had been some confusion over the seventh victim.

On Tuesday afternoon, Lake County Coroner Jennifer Banek said that a seventh victim who had been hospitalised in a neighbouring county had also died but that their identity was not known at that time.

That evening, Lake County State Attorney Eric Rinehart announced that suspected killer Robert Crimos had been charged with seven counts of first-degree murder.

At that point, Mr Uvaldo was still alive but his family had been told by doctors there was nothing they could do.

The 69-year-old died on Wednesday morning, with his death announced by the Cook County Medical Examiner.

This initially sparked confusion that an eighth victim had succumbed to their injuries.

Steven Spagnolo, spokesperson for the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office, later confirmed to The Independent on Wednesday that Mr Uvaldo is the seventh victim named on the indictment.

He said that there had been some confusion around the release of the seventh victim’s name and couldn’t comment on when further charges might be laid.

Here’s what we know so far about the victims:

Nicolas Toledo-Zaragoza

The family of 78-year-old grandfather Nicolas Toledo-Zaragoza confirmed his death on Monday afternoon.

The elderly man, of dual US and Mexican nationality, used a wheelchair and was sitting in it watching the parade when he was struck by bullets.

Mr Toledo-Zaragoza’s granddaughter Xochil Toledo revealed that her grandfather hadn’t wanted to go to the parade but did so to be with his family.

She told the New York Post that around a dozen of their family members were going to the festivities but, that morning, he said he wanted to stay at home because he was using a walker.

“He was like, ‘No, I think I should stay, I’m in a walker, there’s going to be a lot of people, I don’t think I should go,’ ” she said.

“My father and [aunt], they were like, ‘How could we leave you here by yourself? We’d never do that to you no matter if you’re in a wheelchair or walker, we’re still going to take you with us,’ and then the tragedy happened.”

The 78-year-old was shot three times in the hail of gunfire and died on the scene, she said.

Ms Toledo said the family was “in shock”.

“We’re very upset, I’m in shock. It just feels like a dream, a scary dream,” she said.

Nicolas Toledo was killed in the mass shooting in Highland Park, Illinois

Jacki Sundheim

A second victim was identified on Monday night as a devoted member of a local synagogue.

Jacki Sundheim was remembered by the North Shore Congregation Israel as a “lifelong” congregant and “cherished” staffer whose “work, kindness and warmth touched us all”.

Ms Sundheim’s death was confirmed in an email sent out to congregants by the synagogue on Monday night, and later on social media as relatives shared posts commemorating a woman described as being “one of the kindest” they’d ever met.

“Jacki was a lifelong congregant of NSCI and a cherished member of NSCI’s staff team for decades,” the synagogue said.

Her nephew Luke Sundheim wrote on social media how he had learned about her death in a phone call “that I hope none of you ever receive”.

“If you know me you know that the 4th of July is one of my favorite holidays. Today as my family was enjoying the Winnetka 4th of July parade I got a phone call that I hope none of you ever receive,” he wrote on Facebook.

“My aunt Jacki was senselessly gunned down watching a parade that’s she’s been to her entire life just two towns north.

“If you knew Jacki you’d know that she was one of the kindest people you’d ever meet and she went out of her way to help anyone.

“The world lost a truly special person and I’m both furious and incredibly sad that I won’t be able to spend any more time with her. I love America, but this can not keep happening to innocent loving people.”

She is survived by her husband Bruce and daughter Leah.

Jacki Sundheim was remembered by the North Shore Congregation Israel as a ‘lifelong’ congregant

Steve Straus

The family of 88-year-old Steve Straus confirmed he was among the victims on Tuesday, with his niece Cynthia Straus paying tribute to him as an “honourable man”.

In a heartbreaking tribute on Facebook, Ms Straus said July 4 marked the “darkest day” for her family.

Her uncle still worked as a financial advisor at the age of 88, still taking the train to work in Chicago every day.

“Yesterday, the darkest day you can imagine, my Uncle, my father’s brother, Steve Straus, was killed in The Highland Park 4th of July Day Parade shooting. It was a tragic, senseless loss,” she said.

“Steve was 88 years old, in remarkably good health, and still went to work everyday. He is integral to our family, a kind, sweet and gentle soul with great humor, intelligence and keen wit. He towered over our family like a protective Oak sheltering his own.

Steve Straus’s family confirmed his death on Tuesday

“Follow The Sun Steve, to the other side of the veil. Only those who have left this world know what awaits, and for me I can only say that if there are bells at Heaven’s Gate they are chiming and cheering for you, for a life well lived, and a soul well served. But, let’s be clear NO ONE should die this way.”

Irina and Kevin McCarthy

Irina and Kevin McCarthy were a married couple and parents to a two-year-old boy Aiden who has now been left to grow up without his parents.

The boy was separated from his parents in the chaos and was cared for by strangers who spread the word on social media until officials could reunite him with his grandparents.

The McCarthys had gone to the parade with their toddler when the shooting rampage unfolded.

Aiden was found alone and bloodied on Monday morning by a local chef who grabbed the boy and quickly took him out of the path of danger.

CBS Chicago’s Jackie Kostek shared photos of the terrified little boy on Twitter to help reunite him with his family members, writing that he was “safe but with strangers”.

She later revealed that a Highland Park police officer had collected the child from the home of a woman who was caring for him and reunited him with his grandparents.

Irina and Kevin McCarthy were killed in the Highland Park shooting

A GoFundMe set up to raise money for the little boy speaks of the “unthinkable position” Aiden is now in having to “navigate life as an orphan”.

“In the aftermath of the Highland Park, IL shootings on July 4, the North Shore community rallied to help a boy who we knew nothing about,” reads the GoFundMe.

“We took him to safety under tragic circumstances, came together to locate his grandparents, and prayed for the safety of his family. Sadly, I need to share his name…Aiden McCarthy. And he needs more of our help. His parents Irina & Kevin were killed during the July 4 shooting.

“At two years old, Aiden is left in the unthinkable position; to grow up without his parents. Aiden will be cared for by his loving grandparents, Misha and Nina Levberg, and he will have a long road ahead to heal, find stability, and ultimately navigate life as an orphan. He is surrounded by a community of friends and extended family that will embrace him with love, and any means available to ensure he has everything he needs as he grows.

“On behalf of his family, and with their permission, I am establishing this fundraiser to support him and the caregivers who will be tasked with raising, caring for, and supporting Aiden as he and his support system embark on this unexpected journey.”

The GoFundMe had reached more than $130,000 in donations within an hour of its launch.

Katherine Goldstein

Katherine Goldstein, who was known as Katie, was shot and killed at the Highland Park parade as she and her daughter Cassie Goldstein were desperately running away from the gunfire.

Cassie Goldstein told NBC Nightly News that they had been enjoying the July 4 weekend together as mother and daughter after the 64-year-old had recently lost her own mother.

On Sunday, they had gone to the botanic gardens, got Dairy Queen and went to a movie before going to the parade together on Monday.

Ms Goldstein said that her mother was “having a good time” and was waving to the parade floats as they walked by.

Suddenly, they heard the sound of gunfire.

“I was standing there with my mom, and I heard what I thought were firecrackers firing into the street across from me. And then I looked up and I saw the shooter shooting down at the kids,” she said.

Katherine Goldstein was at the Highland Park parade with her daughter when she was killed

“And I told her that it was a shooter and that she had to run.”

The mother and daughter ran side-by-side away from the scene but her mother was struck in the chest by a bullet and fell.

Ms Goldstein spoke of the agonising moment where she had to continue running to escape the hail of gunfire.

“I knew she was dead,” she said.

“I just told her that I loved her, but I couldn’t stop, because he was still shooting everyone next to me. So, I just kept running, and I hid behind a trash can.”

Ms Goldstein went back to find her mother when the shooting stopped.

She paid tribute to her as “the best mom in the world” and her “best friend”.

“She was just a good mom, and I got 22 years with her,” she said.

“And I got to have 22 years with the best mom in the world... I did everything with her. She was my best friend.”

Craig Goldstein, Katherine Goldstein’s husband and Cassie’s father, described her as the “kindest, gentlest person you’d ever meet” who “touched so many people in a positive way”.

Eduardo Uvaldo

A 69-year-old grandfather who went to the July 4 parade in Highland Park with several family members was named as the seventh victim of the mass shooting.

Eduardo Uvaldo, from Waukegan, died on Wednesday morning in Evanston Hospital – two days on from the attack – after succumbing to his injuries in hospital.

The victim was shot in the arm and the back of the head when alleged mass shooter Robert Crimo opened fire on the crowd of families, friends and local residents from his sniper position on the roof of a nearby business.

Mr Uvaldo’s granddaughter Nivia Guzman wrote on a heartbreaking GoFundMe page on Tuesday that doctors had told the family there was no longer anything they could do for Mr Uvaldo, who she affectionately referred to as “papi”.

Hours later, she said that they had been left with no choice but to turn off his ventilator.

On Wednesday morning, Ms Guzman confirmed his death.

“Our papi has gone with his mami and papi. We thank you for your prayers and donations,” she wrote.

Mr Uvaldo’s family went to the July 4 parade together every year and this year had been no different until tragedy struck.

Ms Guzman said that her brother and grandmother were also shot in the attack but survived.

Eduardo Uvaldo died on Wednesday from his injuries in the Highland Park shooting

“As many of you may know by now, there was a mass shooting in Highland Park, IL during the Fourth of July Parade. A parade my family attends every year filled with happiness and laughter. This year was different, this year was filled with fear, sadness, and tragedy,” read the original GoFundMe.

“Both my grandparents, Maria and Eduardo Uvaldo, and younger brother were victims of the Highland Park Parade. My brother got shot in the arm, but is okay. My grandma got hit with fragments in the head. Unfortunately my grandpa got shot in the arm, then in the back of the head. He is in critical condition. My grandpa is a kind, loving, and funny man who did not deserve this.

“We pray for a positive outcome, but the doctors say the chances are low. With the unexpected incident, any donation will help. Thank you.”

In an update she said that the family had “just received news that there is nothing left to do for our papi” as she said that donations would go towards helping her grandmother “when the time comes”.

Hours later, she had said that her “papi” was “still here with us”.

“The doctors said there is nothing left to do based on where the bullet hit the brain. We took him off the ventilator,” she wrote.

“However, he continues to have stable vitals with no help. We pray for a miracle and ask that you pray for us as well.”

On Wednesday morning, the Cook County Coroner’s Office confirmed his death.

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