Chicago shooting: Parents of a toddler, Mexican grandfather among July 4 parade victims

Nicolas Toledo was among those killed in the mass shooting at a Fourth of July parade. PHOTOS: GOFUNDME.COM, REUTERS

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - A synagogue teacher, a Mexican grandfather, and the parents of a two-year-old found wandering alone after a deadly attack on a Fourth of July parade in a Chicago suburb were among the victims of the latest mass shooting in an American community.

Irina McCarthy, 35, and Kevin McCarthy, 37, were killed when a rooftop sniper fired on the July Fourth parade on Monday (July 4) in which around 50 people also suffered gunshot wounds and other injuries, police and hospital officials said.  

The toddler, Aiden, was separated from his parents in the ensuing chaos and was later returned to family members by police, according to a fundraising page.  

“He will have a long road ahead to heal,” said Irina Colon, who organised the GoFundMe page with the family’s permission, adding that his grandparents would care for the boy.  The fund has raised over US$425,000 (S$597,200) so far. 

Another victim was Nicolas Toledo, 78, visiting from Mexico when he was shot at the parade alongside relatives, some of whom were wounded but expected to survive, according to local media.

"My grandfather Nicolas Toledo father of eight and grandfather to many left us this morning July 4th, what was supposed to be a fun family day turned into a horrific nightmare for us all," his granddaughter, Xochil Toledo, said.

"Not only was Nicolas a loving man, creative, adventurous and funny. As a family we are broken, and numb," she said.

Toledo's family set up a page on crowd funding service GoFundMe to raise money to send his body back to his native Mexico. The page raised more than US$33,000 (S$46,000) as of early Tuesday.

Toledo, in his 70s, had been visiting his family for about the past month. He spent his final days swimming and fishing and being among relatives, his family told media.

Relatives of Toledo were wounded in the shooting but were expected to survive, CBS Chicago reported.

Another person killed in the shooting was Jacki Sundheim, a teacher at a Highland Park synagogue. The North Shore Congregation Israel confirmed her death in an email to congregants.

"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.

"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 added.

The synagogue said she was survived by her husband and daughter.

Other victims identified by authorities were Katherine Goldstein, 64, and Stephen Straus, 88. Details about them were not immediately available.  

Thirty nine people were taken to hospitals run by NorthShore University HealthSystem, ranging in age from 14 to in their 70s, said spokesman Jim Anthony. Nine remained hospitalised.  

A 69-year-old man, was in critical condition with a gunshot wound.

Nine people were treated by Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital, six for gunshot wounds, three for falls, said spokesman Christopher King. Four remain hospitalised, with their conditions ranging from good to fair.  

Among those wounded were pre-school teacher Zoe Kolpack and her husband as they sat watching the parade with their two young children, who were unharmed, according to a fundraising page.

Kolpack’s father and brother-in-law also were shot, according to a statement by the page’s organiser, Samantha Whitehead, a friend of Zoe Kolpack.  

“They are all in the hospital undergoing various surgeries,” Whitehead said. 

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