Couple Slain in Parade Nightmare in Front of Their Toddler

·4 min read

A married couple in their 30s whose toddler is now terrifyingly alone. A preschool teacher. A great-grandfather visiting from Mexico. A financial adviser who rode the train daily.

These are some of the lives that were snuffed out by the gunman who opened fire on the Highland Park Fourth of July parade on Monday.

A little over a day after the killing stopped, officials released the names of all but one fatal victim of the latest mass shooting nightmare in America. They identified the deceased as 64-year-old Katherine Goldstein; 35-year-old Irina McCarthy; 37-year-old Kevin McCarthy; 63-year-old Jacquelyn Sundheim; 88-year-old Stephen Straus; and 78-year-old Nicolas Toledo-Zaragoza of Morelos, Mexico.

A seventh fatality was not identified because they died outside the jurisdiction of the Lake County coroner.

Kevin and Irina McCarthy of Highland Park, first identified on Tuesday, were described by friends on social media as parents to a 2-year-old left behind after the disaster. A GoFundMe and local news reports suggested theirs was the blood-smeared toddler rescued by Lauren Silva, another mom who went out for pancakes and found herself in the middle of an American nightmare.

Jacki Sundheim’s synagogue, the North Shore Congregation Israel in neighboring Glencoe, previously announced that she was was one of the seven people killed.

“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 wrote in an email to congregants. “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,” it continued, adding that Jacki was survived by her husband and daughter.

Nicolás Toledo, 78, was is survived by his eight children, a slew of grandkids and one recently arrived great-grandchild. On Monday, he was sitting on his walker and surrounded by his family when he was hit by bullets.

“We all threw ourselves to the ground,” his daughter, Josefina Toledo, told The Daily Beast after the shooting. “My dad, since it’s difficult for him to walk… he was sitting on his walker and he was hit in his back and in his head.”

He was visiting Highland Park, where he used to live, from Mexico, where he was born and had retired. His family attended the parade every year as a tradition.

Josefina said one of her nieces’ boyfriends was also one of the dozens injured in the attack—he was in a stable condition on Monday but was facing surgery to remove a bullet from near his lungs. “There isn’t a safe place anymore,” Josefina added.

A third victim, Steve Straus, was a financial adviser and daily commuter at age 88 who left behind a wife, brother, and other relatives aghast at his demise after such a full and active life.

“He was an honorable man who worked his whole life and looked out for his family and gave everyone the best he had,” a niece told The New York Times. “He was kind and gentle and had huge intelligence and humor and wit.”

More than two-dozen others were wounded, including four members of a single family, according to a GoFundMe.

Sharing a link to a medical bill fundraiser on Tuesday morning, the Chicago Teachers Union said William Dever Elementary School teacher Zoe Kolpack and her husband, named elsewhere as Stephen Kolpack, were wounded in the attack.

“They were with their two children, who were unharmed,” the tweet read. The fundraiser’s creator, who called Zoe her “best friend,” added that the teacher’s father and brother-in-law were also hit. “They are all in the hospital undergoing various surgeries, which will seriously impact these families financially,” the fundraiser description reads.

Doctors who treated the dozens of wounded people at local hospitals said the victims ranged in age between 8 and 85. David Baum, a local physician who attended the parade with his family, saw some of the devastating wounds firsthand when the shooting stopped.

“I saw horrific, devastating injuries, the kind that you normally see in a war,” Baum told The Daily Beast on Monday, adding that the bodies of those killed “were literally blown up by those bullets.”

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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