A former teacher, the parents of a two-year-old, and a grandfather visiting his family from Mexico are among those that were killed in a mass shooting during a 4th of July parade in Highland Park, Illinois. The Lake County Coroner’s Office confirmed six of the seven people killed in the massacre on Tuesday.
About 45 people were injured or killed during the shooting, Deputy Chief Christopher Covelli, Lake County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson, said in a news conference on Tuesday per CNN. Patients at Highland Park Hospital ranged in age from 8 to 85 years old, Dr. Brigham Temple, the medical director of Northshore University Health System said.
A seventh person died at a hospital in Evanston on Tuesday, but Lake County coroner Jennifer Banek did not provide the identity since they were not in Lake County at the time of death.
The six identified victims are Katherine Goldstein, 64, of Highland Park; Irina McCarthy, 35, of Highland Park; Kevin McCarthy, 37, of Highland Park; Jacquelyn Sundheim, 63, of Highland Park; Stephen Straus, 88, of Highland Park; and Nicolas Toledo-Zaragoza, 78, of Morelos, Mexico.
A manhunt ensued following the shooting on Monday morning, which led to the arrest of a 21-year-old suspect who appeared to have planned the attack for weeks, according to police. Robert “Bobby” E. Crimo III has been charged with seven counts of first-degree murder and will receive additional charges, authorities said on Tuesday. He allegedly shot innocent people sniper-style from a rooftop above the festivities, and dressed as a woman to escape undetected, officials said per NBC News.
As America faces yet another senseless and preventable loss of life from a mass shooting — there have been over 300 mass shootings, with 15 classified as “mass killings” this year alone, according to Gun Violence Archive — family and friends mourn their loved ones. Here is what is known at press time about the victims of the Independence Day 2022 tragedy.
Katherine Goldstein, 63
Craig Goldstein described his wife Katherine — a homemaker and mother of two adult daughters — as a fearless adventurer who enjoyed exploring new places. “She didn’t complain,” Goldstein told The New York Times. She was always along for the ride.”
In an emotional interview, Katherine’s daughter Cassie Goldstein, 22, spoke with NBC News anchor Lester Holt and described the moment her mother was shot. “I started running with her,” Cassie said, holding back tears. “We were next to each other, and he shot her in the chest and she fell down. I knew she was dead, so I just told her than I loved her — but I couldn’t stop because he was still shooting everyone next to me.” She added: “I got 22 years with her. I got to have 22 years with the best mom in the world.”
Irina McCarthy, 35; Kevin McCarthy, 37
Married couple Irina and Kevin McCarthy were among the victims killed in Highland Park. Their two-year-old son had been with his parents at the event and was “unharmed and is safely in the care of his grandparents.”
Kevin, who worked at Jaguar Gene Therapy was known as a “star employee” with an “incredible work ethic.”
“Outside of work he was a very proud dad and devoted husband who adored his family,” Joe Nolan, the CEO of Jaguar Gene Therapy wrote in an email to employees via NBC. “We will miss him tremendously.”
Stephen Straus, 88
Stephen Strauss was a financial adviser who took the train from his Highland Park home to his Chicago office every day, his grandson Tobias told New York Post. “He was in great shape, especially for his age. He definitely could’ve lived a lot longer,” he said.
Stephen’s niece Cynthia wrote a tribute to her uncle on Facebook. “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,” she wrote. “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.”
Jacki Sundheim, 63
Jacki Sundheim was a teacher at Gates of Learning Preschool early in her career and was a lifelong congregant and beloved staff member of North Shore Congregation Israel (NSCI) in Glencoe, Illinois.
“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,” NSCI wrote in a statement. “There are no words sufficient to express the depth of our grief for Jacki’s death and sympathy for her family and loved ones.”
Nicolas Toledo, 78
Nicolas Toledo, a grandfather and dad of eight children was visiting his family from Mexico. Toledo, who used a walker, was sitting amidst his family enjoying the parade when he was struck by three bullets.
“He was the one who saved all of our lives. It would have gone to me, my boyfriend or my cousins,” granddaughter Xochil Toledo told Chicago Sun-Times. “We were all in shock,” said Xochil Toledo. “We were crying. We couldn’t believe all that had happened. We couldn’t breathe.” Toledo said during the melee, her father tried to protect her grandfather and her father was shot in the arm; her boyfriend was also shot in the back.