(HIGHLAND PARK, Ill.) — A doting grandfather who immigrated from Mexico to give his family a better life, a former preschool teacher who was a faithful member of her synagogue and two parents on a fun outing with their toddler were among the six people gunned down at a Fourth of July parade in Highland Park, a leafy suburban Chicago town that according to FBI statistics hadn’t had a previous murder in more than 20 years.
But all that change on Monday when a 21-year-old man who grew up in the North Shore city allegedly opened fire from a rooftop with a high-powered rifle, turning a quintessential American summer holiday scene into a massacre.
Five of the victims randomly shot died at the scene of the shooting, while one perished at a hospital, according to officials. On Tuesday afternoon, a seventh victim succumbed to his injuries at Evanston Hospital, officials said.
More than 30 people were wounded by a barrage of at least 70 bullets that silenced the marching bands, prompted parade-goers to scramble for cover and sent shockwaves across the nation.
The wounded ranged in age from 8 to their 80s, authorities said.
Here’s what we know so far about the people who were killed.
Jacki Sundheim, 63
Jacki Sundheim, a dedicated congregant and worker at her synagogue, North Shore Congregation Israel in Glencoe, Illinois, was shot and killed at the Independence Day parade in Highland Park, according to the synagogue.
In a statement, the North Shore Congregation Israel described Sundheim as a “beloved” staff member who spent her early days teaching preschool and her entire life worshipping at the synagogue.
“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.
Nicolas Toledo-Zaragoza, 78
Nicolas Toledo-Zaragoza was one of the slain victims from the parade, according to his family.
“My grandpa was a funny man. He’d always joke around and be playful with his grandkids. He arrived [at] the U.S. in the ’80s and worked around the Highland Park area for many years. He spent his last days swimming and fishing and being among family,” Toledo-Zaragoza’s grandson, David Toledo, told ABC News in a statement.
Toledo-Zaragoza was a native of Morelos, Mexico.
Stephen Straus, 88
Stephen Straus was the oldest victim to die in the shooting rampage, according to the Lake County coroner’s office.
His son, John Straus, told the Chicago Tribune that his father was born and raised on Chicago’s South Side and described him as a “a product of Chicago.”
But he said his dad loved his adopted hometown of Highland Park, where he lived for decades and raised a family with wife of nearly 60 years, Linda, who survives him along with two sons.
“My dad was just very much a Highland Parker,” another son, Peter Straus, told the Tribune. “He lived here, and unfortunately he died here.”
A grandfather of four, Stephen Straus enjoyed attending the Highland Park Fourth of July parade every year, Peter Straus said.
“I called him (on Monday) just to wish him a Happy Fourth of July and he didn’t respond, which I didn’t make much of,” Peter Straus, who lives in San Francisco, told the newspaper. “And then news stories started coming out about a shooting in Highland Park.”
Katherine Goldstein, 64
Katherine Goldstein was a mother of two adult daughters, an avid bird watcher and someone who loved to travel, a friend told ABC News.
Betsy Backes said she first met Goldstein at a local community center north of Chicago when they were both pregnant with their second child. Goldstein invited Backes to her home and the two mothers began a close, 20-year friendship that ended abruptly when Goldstein was gunned down Monday morning at the Independence Day parade in Highland Park.
In a phone conversation Wednesday morning, Backes spoke glowingly of her “dear friend Katie G.,” describing her as an “extraordinary person” and “everyone’s best friend” who was “always around for her kids.”
She said their daughters grew up together, and the families would go on adventures — all of them planned by Goldstein.
“No one could plan an adventure like she did,” she said.
On Halloween nights, she said the mothers would pass out candy at the Goldsteins’ front door while the fathers took the daughters trick-or-treating. Afterward, they would order Thai food and all sit together to eat.
“It is such a happy memory,” recalled Backes. “The little girls were so happy to be out with their daddies, and I was so happy to be with my friend, Katie, and passing out candy to the neighborhood kids.”
Goldstein was an avid bird watcher and loved visiting the Chicago Botanic Garden, Backes said. She said her friend was also a great cook, who made salmon for lunch and was always experimenting with new recipes.
“She would cook meals that were so adventurous and fun,” said Backes, who spotted a recipe notebook on the kitchen counter when she visited the Goldstein home Tuesday. In it was a list of new recipes Goldstein planned to try, including a Middle Eastern dish with za’atar spice.
“I looked down and I smiled because I thought, ‘Of course you’re doing that, Katie. Of course you’re doing that,'” Backes said.
Reached by phone, Craig Goldstein, Katherine’s husband, declined to speak, telling ABC News he was leaving for a funeral home and wanted to prioritize time with his daughters
Irina McCarthy, 35, and Kevin McCarthy, 37
Irina and Kevin McCarthy lived in Highland Park and were at the town’s Fourth of July parade with their 2-year-old son, Aiden, when they were both fatally shot, according to the Highland Park City Manager.
Dana and Gregory Ring, who survived the shooting, told ABC News how another parade-goer found little Aiden alone, scooped him up and handed him to them in the chaos after the rampage.
“Every time I tried to ask him what his name was, the response he gave to me was, ‘Mama, Dada come get me soon. Mommy’s car come to get me soon,'” Dana Ring recalled in an interview that aired Wednesday on “Good Morning America.”
Unsure of what to do, the Rings took Aiden to a nearby fire station and the boy was later reunited with his grandparents.
The slaying of Aiden’s parents touched a chord with people from across the nation, who as of Wednesday had contributed more than $2 million to a GoFundMe fundraiser established for the now-orphaned boy.
Eduardo Uvaldo, 69
The Cook County medical examiner’s office on Wednesday identified the seventh victim to die from injuries suffered in the mass shooting as 69-year-old Eduardo Uvaldo.
Uvaldo’s granddaughter, Nivia Guzman, wrote on a GoFundMe page that her family attended the Highland Park Fourth of July parade every year and recalled the event being “filled with happiness and laughter.”
“This year was different, this year was filled with fear, sadness, and tragedy,” Guzman wrote.
She said that her younger brother was shot in the arm during the massacre and her grandmother, Maria, Uvaldo’s wife, was hit in the head by shrapnel. Both are expected to fully recover, Guzman said.
She said her grandfather — whom she affectionately referred to as “papi’ — was shot in the arm and in the back of the head.
“The doctors said there is nothing left to do based on where the bullet hit the brain,” Guzman wrote.
She said that after her family made the agonizing decision to take him off a ventilator, her grandfather’s vitals remained stable and that her family prayed “for a miracle” that was never realized.
Uvaldo was pronounced dead at 7:47 a.m. on Tuesday at Evanston Hospital, according to the coroner’s office.
“My grandpa is a kind, loving, and funny man who did not deserve this,” Guzman wrote.
ABC News’ Will McDuffie, Caroline Guthrie, Darren Reynolds and Teddy Grant contributed to this report.
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