McCarthy, Goldstein, Sundheim, some of those Dead in 4th July Parade

McCarthy, Goldstein, Sundheim, some of those Dead in 4th July Parade

Multiple people were reportedly shot dead as gunfire erupted near a 4th of July parade in a Chicago suburb in the United States.

 

According to officials, a gunman began firing from the roof of a retail store into the parade below just minutes after the celebrations began.

 

A viral video on social media shows parade participants suddenly disappearing in panic as gunfire erupted in the streets of Highland Park, an affluent suburban city.

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Families were seen sitting on a sidewalk watching the parade. In the next frame, they are seen leaping up from the ground and running, and a voice yelling “gunshots” can be heard in the background. The event was immediately cancelled due to this incident.

 

Witnesses told the Chicago Sun Times they saw at least five people lying on the ground in pools of blood and another under a blanket

 

Illinois Rep. Bob Morgan also confirmed via his Twitter handle Monday that he was at the parade and there were multiple injuries.

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“For those unaware, there was a shooting at the Highland Park Parade. I cancelled because there have been multiple injuries. Please stay out of the area, stay safe, and please pray for those injured”, he wrote.

 

Highland Park Police responded to the shooting incident in downtown Highland Park.

 

“Fourth Fest has been cancelled. Please avoid downtown Highland Park. More information will be shared as it becomes available”, tweeted Nancy Rotering, Mayor of Highland Park.

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Illinois Governor JB Pritzker also tweeted: “My staff and I are closely monitoring the situation in Highland Park. State police are on the scene and we have made all state resources available to the community. We will continue working with local officials to help those affected.”

 

Boy looses Parents

Aiden McCarthy’s photo was shared across Chicago-area social media groups in the hours after the July 4 parade shooting in Highland Park, accompanied by pleas to help identify the 2-year-old who had been found at the scene bloodied and alone and to reunite him with his family.

McCarthy, Goldstein, Sundheim, some of those Dead in 4th July Parade
McCarthy, Goldstein, Sundheim, some of those Dead in 4th July Parade

On Tuesday, friends and authorities confirmed that the boy’s parents, Kevin McCarthy, 37, and Irina McCarthy, 35, were among seven people killed in the tragedy.

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“At two years old, Aiden is left in the unthinkable position; to grow up without his parents,” wrote Irina Colon on a GoFundMe account she created for the family and Aiden, who was reunited with his grandparents Monday evening.

 

Friends of the McCarthys said Irina’s parents would care for the boy going forward.

 

Four of other others who were killed were identified Tuesday as Katherine Goldstein, 64; Jacquelyn Sundheim, 63; Stephen Straus, 88; and Nicolas Toledo-Zaragoza, 78. Every victim was from Highland Park except for Toledo-Zaragoza, who was visiting family in the city from Morelos, Mexico.

 

Officials haven’t yet identified the seventh victim.

 

Portraits of some of those who died began to emerge Tuesday as investigators continued to search for evidence in the shooting that killed at least seven and wounded 30.

 

Irina McCarthy’s childhood friend, Angela Vella, described McCarthy as fun, personable and “somewhat of a tomboy” who still liked to dress up nicely.

 

“She definitely had her own style, which I always admired,” Vella said in a short interview.

 

Straus, a Chicago financial adviser, was one of the first observers at the parade and attended it every year, his grandchildren said.

 

Brothers Maxwell and Tobias Straus described their grandfather as a kind and active man who loved walking, biking and attending community events.

 

“The way he lived life, you’d think he was still middle-aged,” Maxwell Straus said in an interview.

 

The two brothers recalled Sunday night dinners with their grandparents as a favorite tradition. They said they ate with him the night before he was killed.

 

“America’s gun culture is killing grandparents,” said Maxwell Straus. “It’s very just terrible.”

 

Sundheim, meanwhile, was regaled as a lifelong congregant and “beloved” staff member at North Shore Congregation Israel, where she had worked for decades, the Reform synagogue said on its website. Sundheim taught at the synagogue’s preschool and coordinated events including bar and bat mitzvah ceremonies.

 

“Jacki’s work, kindness and warmth touched us all,” synagogue leaders wrote in a message on their website. “There are no words sufficient to express the depth of our grief for Jacki’s death and sympathy for her family and loved ones.”

 

Toledo-Zaragoza was killed on what his 23-year-old granddaughter, Xochil Toledo, said was supposed to be a “fun family day” that “turned into a horrific nightmare for us all.”

 

On a GoFundMe page to raise money for Toledo’s funeral expenses, Xochil Toledo said her grandfather was a “loving man, creative, adventurous and funny.”

 

“As a family we are broken, numb,” she said.

 

Toledo-Zaragoza had come to Illinois to visit his family about two months ago, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. His family wanted him to stay permanently because of injuries he had suffered after being hit by a car a couple years ago during an earlier visit to Highland Park. The newspaper reported that he was hit by three bullets Monday and died at the scene.

 

He wasn’t sure he wanted to attend the parade because of the large crowds and his limited mobility, which required him to use a walker, but Xochil Toledo said the family didn’t want to leave him alone.

 

Katherine Goldstein’s husband described her as an easygoing travel companion who was always game to visit far-flung locales.

 

“She didn’t complain,” Craig Goldstein told The New York Times. “She was always along for the ride.”

 

Goldstein was a mother of two daughters in their early 20s, Cassie and Alana. She attended the parade with her older daughter so that Cassie could reunite with friends from high school, Craig Goldstein, a hospital physician, told the newspaper.

 

Dr. Goldstein said his wife had recently lost her mother and had given thought to what kind of arrangements she might want when she dies.

 

He recalled that Katherine, an avid bird watcher, said she wanted to be cremated and to have her remains scattered in the Montrose Beach area of Chicago, where there is a bird sanctuary.

 

CHARGES

A man charged Tuesday with seven counts of murder after firing off more than 70 rounds at an Independence Day parade in suburban Chicago legally bought five weapons, including the high-powered rifle used in the shooting, despite authorities being called to his home twice in 2019 for threats of violence and suicide, police said.

 

Lake County State’s Attorney Eric Rinehart said the suspect, if convicted of the first-degree murder charges, would receive a mandatory life sentence without the possibility of parole. He promised that dozens more charges would be sought.

 

A spokesman for the Lake County Major Crime Task Force said the suspected shooter, who was arrested late Monday, used a rifle “similar to an AR-15″ to spray more than 70 rounds from atop a commercial building into a crowd that had gathered for the parade in Highland Park, an affluent community of about 30,000 on the Lake Michigan shore.

 

A seventh victim died of their injuries Tuesday. More than three dozen other people were wounded in the attack, which Task force spokesman Christopher Covelli said the suspect had planned for several weeks.

 

The assault happened less than three years after police went to the suspect’s home following a call from a family member who said he was threatening “to kill everyone” there. Covelli said police confiscated 16 knives, a dagger and a sword, but said there was no sign he had any guns at the time, in September 2019.

 

Police in April 2019 also responded to a reported suicide attempt by the suspect, Covelli said.

 

The suspect legally purchased the rifle used in the attack in Illinois within the past year, Covelli said. In all, police said, he purchased five firearms, which were recovered by officers at his father’s home.

 

The revelation about his gun purchases is just the latest example of y oung men who were able to obtain guns and carry out massacres in recent months despite glaring warning signs about their mental health and inclination to violence.

 

Illinois state police, who issue gun owners’ licenses, said the gunman applied for a license in December 2019, when he was 19. His father sponsored his application.

 

At the time “there was insufficient basis to establish a clear and present danger” and deny the application, state police said in a statement.

 

Investigators who have interrogated the suspect and reviewed his social media posts have not determined a motive or found any indication that he targeted victims by race, religion or other protected status, Covelli said.

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