Nicolas Toledo-Zaragoza was the first victim named in the Highland Park, Illinois, mass shooting. The 78-year-old grandfather was identified by his family as the first of the six victims killed.
“The family of Nicolas Toledo tells me he was one of the people shot and killed at the Highland Park 4th of July Parade,” CBS Chicago reported Tim McNicholas tweeted.
Jacki Sundheim, a former preschool teacher who attended a Jewish synagogue, was also among the deceased victims, her synagogue confirmed.
Irina and Kevin McCarthy, a couple in their 30s, were both killed. Their son Aiden, 2, was found wandering alone at the parade scene.
The coroner’s office named these people as the deceased victims:
Katherine Goldstein, 88
Irina McCarthy, 35
Kevin McCarthy, 37
Jacquelyn Sundheim, 63
Stephen Straus, 88
all of Highland Park,
Nicolas Toledo-Zaragoza, 78, of Mexico
A 7th victim has now died. That person is not yet named.
The accused gunman, Robert Crimo III, 22, is under arrest. You can read about him here.
In a news conference, Officer Chris O’Neill said the mass shooting was an “active shooter” incident that was random in nature. He described the suspect as a white male, age 18-20, with “longer black hair, a small build and wearing a white or blue t-shirt.” A firearm was recovered from the scene, but the gunman’s identity is not clear. Nor is his motive.
The gunman was at large, and people were urged to shelter inside. A high-powered rifle was found at the scene, authorities said. All of the victims were adults; one died at the hospital and five at the parade scene.
Two dozen people were taken to the hospital, O’Neill said.
“We are assisting Highland Park Police with a shooting in the area of the Independence Day parade route. STAY OUT OF THE AREA – allow law-enforcement and first responders to do their work,” the Lake County Sheriff tweeted.
Here’s what you need to know about the Highland Park victims:
“We are all feeling pretty numb. We’re all pretty broken inside,” Toledo’s granddaughter told McNicholas, the CBS Chicago reporter.
CBS Chicago obtained the above photos of victim Nicolas Toledo.
Sundheim was identified as one of the parade victims by her Illinois synagogue. She was a former preschool teacher.
The North Shore Congregation Israel in Glencoe, Illinois, said in a statement:
We mourn the loss of Jacki Sundheim, beloved NSCI staff member.
It is with immeasurable sadness that we let you know that our beloved Jacki Sundheim was one of the victims murdered today at the Highland Park Parade. Jacki was a lifelong congregant of NSCI and a cherished member of NSCI’s staff team for decades. Jacki’s work, kindness and warmth touched us all, from her early days teaching at the Gates of Learning Preschool to guiding innumerable among us through life’s moments of joy and sorrow as our Events and B’nei Mitzvah Coordinator– all of this with tireless dedication.
There are no words sufficient to express the depth of our grief for Jacki’s death and sympathy for her family and loved ones. 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.
Katherine Goldstein, 88
Goldstein was a married mother of two who was at the parade with her daughter Cassie, according to Today.
“She was waving to the floats, every float that went by, she waved to them,” Cassie Goldstein said to Today of her mother at the parade.
Cassie added, “I got 22 years with her. I got to have 22 years with the best mom in the world.”
Irina McCarthy, 35, and Kevin McCarthy, 37
CBS Chicago reporter Marissa Parra tweeted, “Remember this little boy found wandering alone after #HighlandPark parade? We’ve just found out why… both his parents were killed.💔 A fundraiser has been started for Irina and Kevin McCarthy’s 2-yo son Aiden as he grows up without them.”
There is a GoFundMe account to help the McCarthy’s son. It reads,
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. 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.
Thank you for your generosity, kindness and support.
Stephen Straus, 88
Ron Kruszewski, Chairman and CEO of Stifel, wrote in a statement:
It is with great sadness that I inform you Stephen Straus, a Financial Advisor in our Chicago office, was among the seven individuals killed in the tragic mass shooting in Highland Park, Illinois, on July 4.
Steve began his career in 1968 and joined the Stifel family in 1998. He continued to serve his valued clients at age 88, not because he had to, but because he wanted to, commuting to the office each morning by train.
He was always willing to share ideas – an ambassador of the office. He was kind and gentle, warm hearted, and had a great sense of humor. ‘Steve looked out for the whole family,’ said his niece, Cynthia Straus.
‘He was like a big, big oak tree, an umbrella of well-being for all of us. It’s a big loss.’ He will be missed by all. Our thoughts are with the Straus family, as well as with the families of the other victims.
Gov. JB Pritzker tweeted, “My staff and I are closely monitoring the situation in Highland Park. State police are on the scene and we have made all state resources available to the community. We will continue working with local officials to help those affected.”
Dan Ponce, an anchorman with WGN-TV, tweeted, “Witnesses say the shooter was on the roof of Uncle Dan’s and fired into parade. 5 or 6 shots, then a pause, then 5 or 6 more shots. The shooter is still at large and North Shore residents are being asked to stay inside.”
A video captured gunshots ringing out in rapid succession as parade participants walked down the street. You can watch the video below. The shooting reports were preliminary and unfolding just before 11 a.m. Fox News reported that multiple people are “feared dead.”
Photos showed blood on the ground.
The mass shooting occurred in an affluent north shore Chicago suburb.
Photos and eyewitness accounts from the scene showed a massive law enforcement response and an “abandoned parade route.”