Victims of the Highland Park mass shooting: What we know so far

·3 min read

On July 4, Highland Park became the latest community torn apart by gun violence in the US as what was supposed to be family-friendly Independence Day celebrations turned into a bloodbath.

Local residents, families and friends had gathered to enjoy the July 4 parade in the Illinois city when a lone gunman opened fire on the crowds from a sniper position on the roof of a nearby business.

Six people were killed in the attack while 38 more were taken to hospitals, several of them suffering from gunshot wounds.

Of the six victims, five adults died on the scene.

The sixth succumbed to their injuries in a local hospital. It is currently unclear if this victim was an adult or child.

As of Tuesday morning, eight of the surviving victims remained hospitalised with their conditions currently unknown.

The first details have begun to emerge about the victims killed in the massacre. Here’s what we know so far about the victims:

Nicholas Toledo

The family of 76-year-old grandfather Nicholas Toledo confirmed his death on Monday afternoon.

The elderly man, of dual US and Mexican nationality, used a wheelchair and was sitting in it watching the parade when he was struck by bullets.

Mr Toledo’s granddaughter Xochil Toledo revealed that her grandfather hadn’t wanted to go to the parade but did so to be with his family.

She told the New York Post that around a dozen of their family members were going to the festivities but, that morning, he said he wanted to stay at home because he was using a walker.

“He was like, ‘No, I think I should stay, I’m in a walker, there’s going to be a lot of people, I don’t think I should go,’ ” she said.

“My father and [aunt], they were like, ‘How could we leave you here by yourself? We’d never do that to you no matter if you’re in a wheelchair or walker, we’re still going to take you with us,’ and then the tragedy happened.”

The 76-year-old was shot three times in the hail of gunfire and died on the scene, she said.

Ms Toledo said the family was “in shock”.

“We’re very upset, I’m in shock. It just feels like a dream, a scary dream,” she said.

Nicolas Toledo was killed in the mass shooting in Highland Park, Illinois (The Toledo family)
Nicolas Toledo was killed in the mass shooting in Highland Park, Illinois (The Toledo family)

Jacki Sundheim

A second victim was identified on Monday night as a devoted member of a local synagogue.

Jacki Sundheim was remembered by the North Shore Congregation Israel as a “lifelong” congregant and “cherished” staffer whose “work, kindness and warmth touched us all”.

Ms Sundheim’s death was confirmed in an email sent out to congregants by the synagogue on Monday night, and later on social media as relatives shared posts commemorating a woman described as being “one of the kindest” they’d ever met.

“Jacki was a lifelong congregant of NSCI and a cherished member of NSCI’s staff team for decades,” the synagogue said.

Her nephew Luke Sundheim wrote on social media how he had learned about her death in a phone call “that I hope none of you ever receive”.

“If you know me you know that the 4th of July is one of my favorite holidays. Today as my family was enjoying the Winnetka 4th of July parade I got a phone call that I hope none of you ever receive,” he wrote on Facebook.

“My aunt Jacki was senselessly gunned down watching a parade that’s she’s been to her entire life just two towns north.

“If you knew Jacki you’d know that she was one of the kindest people you’d ever meet and she went out of her way to help anyone.

“The world lost a truly special person and I’m both furious and incredibly sad that I won’t be able to spend any more time with her. I love America, but this can not keep happening to innocent loving people.”

She is survived by her husband Bruce and daughter Leah.

Jacki Sundheim was remembered by the North Shore Congregation Israel as a ‘lifelong’ congregant (NSCI)
Jacki Sundheim was remembered by the North Shore Congregation Israel as a ‘lifelong’ congregant (NSCI)
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