World

Fourth of July shooting victims include synagogue teacher, grandfather, parents of toddler

A synagogue teacher, a grandfather from Mexico and the parents of a two-year-old — found wandering alone after a deadly attack on a Fourth of July parade in a Chicago suburb — were among the victims of the latest mass shooting in an American community.

Gunman on rooftop opened fire on families at Independence Day parade

A composite photo showing a man and a woman.
Nicolas Toledo, left, and Jacki Sundheim are two of the victims of the mass shooting at a Fourth of July parade in Highland Park, Ill., on Monday. (Xochil Toledo/GoFundMe, NSCI.org)

A synagogue teacher, a grandfather from Mexico and the parents of a two-year-old — who was found wandering alone after a deadly attack on a Fourth of July parade in a Chicago suburb — were among the victims of the latest mass shooting in an American community.

A gunman on a rooftop opened fire on families at the parade on Monday, killing seven and wounding dozens more, authorities have said. Police announced the latest death Tuesday afternoon. A suspect has been charged with seven counts of first-degree murder.

Here is a look at the lives of some of the victims. This story will be updated as more details become available.

Nicolas Toledo

Toledo was a father of eight. (Xochil Toledo/GoFundMe)

Nicolas Toledo was the first victim identified late Monday.

"My grandfather, Nicolas Toledo, father of eight and grandfather to many, left us this morning, July 4th. What was supposed to be a fun family day turned into a horrific nightmare for us all," his granddaughter, Xochil Toledo, said.

"Not only was Nicolas a loving man, creative, adventurous and funny. As a family we are broken and numb," she said.

Toledo's family set up a GoFundMe to raise money to send his body back to his native Mexico. It had raised more than $33,000 US as of early Tuesday.

Toledo had been visiting his family for about the past month. He spent his final days swimming and fishing and being among relatives, his family told media. He was 78.

Relatives of Toledo were wounded in the shooting but were expected to survive, CBS Chicago reported.

Jacki Sundheim

Sundheim was a synagogue teacher. (NSCI.org)

Another person killed in the shooting was Jacki Sundheim, a teacher at a Highland Park synagogue. The North Shore Congregation Israel confirmed her death in an email to congregants.

"There are no words sufficient to express the depth of our grief for Jacki's death and sympathy for her family and loved ones," the synagogue said.

"Jacki's work, kindness and warmth touched us all, from her teaching at the Gates of Learning Preschool to guiding innumerable among us through life's moments of joy and sorrow, all of this with tireless dedication." 

The synagogue said Sundheim, 63, was survived by her husband and daughter. 

Empty chairs and an American flag blanket were abandoned on the ground after the shooting in Highland Park, a Chicago suburb, on Monday. (Nam Y. Huh/The Associated Press)

Irina McCarthy, 35, and Kevin McCarthy, 37

Irina McCarthy, 35, and Kevin McCarthy, 37, were also killed. They were separated from their toddler in the ensuing chaos, who was later returned to family members by police, according to a fundraising page.

"He will have a long road ahead to heal," said Irina Colon, who organized the GoFundMe page with the family's permission, adding that his grandparents would care for the boy.

Irina McCarthy's childhood friend, Angela Vella, described her as fun, personable and "somewhat of a tomboy" who also liked to dress up nicely.

"She definitely had her own style, which I always admired," Vella said in a short interview.

Katherine Goldstein

Katherine Goldstein's husband described her as an easygoing travel companion who was always game to visit far-flung locales.

"She didn't complain," Dr. Craig Goldstein, a hospital physician, told The New York Times. "She was always along for the ride."

She 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, her husband told the newspaper.

He 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.

Stephen Straus

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 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 said in an interview.

The two brothers recalled Sunday night dinners with their grandparents as a favourite tradition. They said they ate with him the night before he was killed.

"America's gun culture is killing grandparents," said Maxwell. "It's very just terrible."

Police, who released most of the victims' names on Tuesday afternoon, said the shootings were random and the victims did not appear to be targeted based on race or religion. The list also included Catherine Goldstein, 64, of Highland Park

Eduardo Uvaldo

For the Uvaldo family, like others in the Highland Park area, the Independence Day parade was an annual tradition, according to a GoFundMe page organized by his granddaughter.

When gunfire erupted from a rooftop along the parade route, Eduardo Uvaldo was shot in his arm and the back of his head. His wife, Maria, was struck in the head by bullet fragments and his grandson was shot in the arm, according to the fundraising page.

Eduardo was brought to the hospital where, after receiving treatment and evaluation from doctors, the family was told there was nothing left to do, Guzman wrote. The page says he was taken off life support Tuesday.

He died just before 8 a.m. on Wednesday at Evanston Hospital.

A memorial for Eduardo Uvaldo stands within a veterans' memorial in Highland Park. (Charles Rex Arbogast/The Associated Press)

With files from The Associated Press and CBC News

now