August 16, 2022

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Highland Park Fourth of July parade shooting victims identified: Who were they?

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Authorities in the Chicago suburb where seven people were killed while attending a Fourth of July parade by a gunman armed with a rifle identified six of the victims Tuesday, including a married couple who were parents to a 2-year-old child. 

The six victims ranged in age from 35 to 88-years-old, Lake County Coroner Jennifer Banek said during a news conference. No details were released on the last victim, who died at a hospital outside of Lake County. 

The suspected shooter, Robert Crimo, 22, was arrested and has been charged with seven murder counts with more charges pending. 

Below are the names of the victims.

SUSPECT ARRESTED IN ILLINOIS FOURTH OF JULY PARADE SHOOTING THAT KILLED 7 PEOPLE

Jacki Sundheim, 63, Highland Park, Illinois.

Jacki Sundheim, a devout Jewish synagogue attendee, was identified by the synagogue she attended. 

“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,” said a statement from the North Shore Congregation Israel said. 

The synagogue described Sundheim as a “lifelong congregant of NSCI and a cherished member of NSCI’s staff team for decades,” Fox Chicago reported. 

“Jacki’s work, kindness and warmth touched us all,” NSCI added. “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.”

She is survived by her husband, Bruce, and daughter, Leah, the Times of Israel reported.

Nicolas Toledo-Zaragoza , 78, Morelos, Mexico 

Nicolas Toledo-Zaragoza was identified by his family, the news outlet said. He initially did not wish to attend the parade over concerns about his health. His granddaughter, Xochil Toledo, 23, said he was the reason his loved ones survived. 

“He was the one who saved all of our lives. It would have gone to me, my boyfriend or my cousins,” she said.

“We were crying. We couldn’t believe all that had happened. We couldn’t breathe,” she added. 

Nicolas Toledo-Zaragoza is seen with his family. Toledo-Zaragoza is one of seven victims from the deadly Highland Park Shooting which occurred on July 4, 2022. 
(Fox 32 Chicago via GoFundMe)

Her boyfriend was also shot but survived. Toledo spent most of his life in Mexico, but came to Illinois to visit his family two months ago. They wanted him to stay because of the injuries he sustained after being struck by a car in Highland Park several years ago. 

Irina and Kevin McCarthy, 35 and 37, Highland Park, Illinois

Irina and Kevin McCarthy were parents to a little boy when they were killed. The boy will now be raised by his grandparents, according to a GoFundMe for the family. 

The toddler was reportedly found by strangers in the aftermath of the gunfire. 

Jaguar Gene Therapy told employees in an email that Kevin McCarthy was among the victims in Monday’s shooting, WMAQ-TV reported. He was remembered as a star employee with an “incredible work ethic.”

Parents, Kevin and Irina McCarthy were two of the seven victims that were tragically killed at the Highland Park shooting. 
(Fox 32 Chicago via GoFundMe)

“Outside of work he was a very proud dad and devoted husband who adored his family,” Nolan wrote. “We will miss him tremendously.”

Angela Vella, posted on Facebook that she was filled with “incredible sadness” and that she knew Irina in middle school.

“My stomach is in knots. I can’t believe this has happened. Irina was such a fun person with a genuine soul,” she wrote. “We were in the same ‘clique’ and stayed in touch when she transferred to Stevenson highschool after briefly attending HPHS.”

Katherine Goldstein, 64, Highland Park, Illinois

Katherine Goldstein was shot and killed during the festival. 

Stephen Straus, 88, Highland Park, Illinois

Stephen Straus loved the arts and was an avid reader and “culture vulture,” his family told the Chicago Tribune. Still energetic, Straus commuted five days each week to his office where he worked as a stockbroker, the newspaper said. 

“My dad was just very much a Highland Parker,” his son Peter Straus said. “He lived here, and unfortunately he died here.”

In an image via Facebook, Stephen Straus’ niece remembers her uncle as a  “sweet and gentle soul.”
(Cynthia Straus/Facebook)

Staus leaves behind a wife, Linda, of nearly 60 years, two sons and four grandchildren. Peter Straus said his father went to the Highland Park July 4 parade every year,

“I called him yesterday just to wish him a Happy Fourth of July and he didn’t respond, which I didn’t make much of. And then news stories started coming out about a shooting in Highland Park,” he said.