A Mexican grandfather who was shot in the head as he sat in his wheelchair and a teacher at a local synagogue are among the first victims identified after a Fourth of July parade massacre in a Chicago suburb left six dead and dozens injured.
Jacki Sundheim, a longtime staffer at North Shore Congregation Israel, was shot and killed when a gunman opened fire at the event, unleashing a hail of bullets on the crowd, the synagogue announced in an email to congregants Monday night.
‘Jacki was a lifelong congregant of NSCI and a cherished member of NSCI’s staff team for decades,’ the synagogue wrote in the email.’ Jacki’s work, kindness and warmth touched us all.’
Sundheim, was the Reform synagogue’s events and b’nei mitzvah coordinator, according to its website. She is survived by her husband Bruce and daughter Leah, the Times of Israel reported.
Earlier on Monday evening, a beloved grandfather from Mexico had been identified as one of the victims, by his family who said he was shot in the head as he sat in his wheelchair, his blood splattering on them.
Nicolas Toledo, 76, had not wanted to attend the parade in Highland Park, Illinois, his granddaughter told the New York Times.
But because of his disabilities that restricted him to a wheelchair, and his family’s insistence of going, he obliged.
The shooting began less than 15 minutes after the parade started. Five adults were killed at the parade and a sixth victim died at the hospital.
A total of 26 victims aged between eight and 85 were injured, with six still receiving hospital treatment. The area has a large Jewish community, but police have not yet shared a possible motive for Monday’s slaughter.
After an hours-long manhunt, police arrested 22-year-old Robert ‘Bobby’ Crimo III.
Jacki Sundheim, a longtime staffer at North Shore Congregation Israel, was shot and killed when a gunman opened fire a Fourth of July parade in Highland Park, Illinois on Monday
Nicolas Toledo, 76, had not wanted to attend the July 4th parade in Highland Park, Illinois, on Monday, his granddaughter told the New York Times. But because of his disabilities that restricted him to a wheelchair, and his family’s insistence of going, he obliged
Dramatic photographs from the scene show the suspected mass-murderer – who posted creepy clips about shooting massacres online – being pinned to the ground face-down by police.
Cops say Crimo opened fire from a rooftop, into a crowd who at first confused the sound of gunshots with Independence Day fireworks.
Two victims, a grandfather and a synagogue teacher have been identified being killing in the attack.
‘We were all in shock,’ Toledo’s granddaughter Xochil Toledo told The Times. ‘We thought it was part of the parade. Then we realized our grandfather was hit. We saw blood and everything splattered onto us.’
Family members say Toledo was shot three times. Two other people in the family were also shot, she said, but their injuries were non life-threatening.
Toledo, a Mexican national who held duel citizenships in Mexico and the United States, had moved back to Highland Park a few months ago at the urging of his family members.
‘We brought him over here so he could have a better life,’ Xochil said. ‘His sons wanted to take care of him and be more in his life, and then this tragedy happened.’
Toledo was killed Monday when a gunman opened fire on a parade from the roof of an Highland Park, Ill. outdoor outfitting store. The gunman has been arrested
Toledo is pictured surrounded by family. Toledo, a Mexican national, who held duel citizenships in Mexico and the United States, had moved back to Highland Park a few months ago at the urging of his family members
The gunman’s attack began less than 15 minutes after the start of the parade. Witnesses have now told how they saw children being picked off in the crowd.
‘We all threw ourselves to the ground,’ Toledo’s daughter, Josefina Toledo, told The Daily Beast. ‘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.’
She said the parade was a family tradition and the whole family attended. But the celebration ended when shots rang out.
The boyfriend of one of her nieces was also shot and is in stable condition.
The Chicago Teacher’s Union shared on Twitter that Zoe Kolpack, a teacher at Dever Elementary, had been shot in the attack. Her husband, her father and her brother in law were also shot, according to a GoFundMe page.
A family friend wrote on the page that all four are in the hospital undergoing various surgeries for their injuries. Their conditions are unknown.
A GoFundMe was started by Toledo’s granddaughter Xochil Toledo
Toledo’s granddaughter said their family is heartbroken by the tragedy: ‘We are all feeling pretty numb. We’re all pretty broken inside’
The scene at Highland Park on Monday after the July 4 parade emptied out amid reports of gunshots. Police have not yet confirmed that anyone was shot
Little is known about the other victims at this time, but the Lake County coroner has confirmed the five people pronounced dead at the scene were adults.
The age of the sixth victim, who died at an area hospital, remains unknown.
‘There was one that was transported to a local hospital that also died at the hospital. I don’t have any additional information on that victim,’ Lake County coroner Jennifer Banek told CNN.
The shooter is said to have opened fire from the rooftop of a local business. Police believe he used a ladder in an alley to climb to the roof.
‘It looks like access to the roof via a ladder in an alley was unsecured,’ Sgt. Chris Covelli, of the Lake County Major Crime Take Force, revealed. The ladder was attached to the building.
The parade had only begun 14 minutes before the gunman opened fire from a rooftop along the route. The shooting caused a stampede of people who flocked into stores and cars. The parade was scheduled to last for an hour
Horror on Independence Day: A police officer bows his head in grief next to abandoned strollers and chairs after a shooting that killed six people in Highland Park, Ill.
Strollers and chairs were abandoned at the scene after the shots rang out at 10:14 a.m., just 10 minutes after the parade began
The aftermath of the scene in Highland Park on Monday after a shooter opened fire on the parade. Chairs and strollers were abandoned by attendees
Law enforcement officers help evacuate people from an Anthropologie store in Highland Park, Ill., on Monday, July 4, after a shooter fired on the northern suburb’s Fourth of July parade
Police officers cross under police tape at the scene of a mass shooting at the Highland Park Fourth of July parade
Law enforcement officers investigate the scene of a mass shooting at a 4th of July celebration and parade in Highland Park, Ill., July 4. A gunman opened fire as people gathered to watch a Fourth of July parade in Highland Park, Ill., killing at least six people and injuring dozens
Meanwhile, witnesses described seeing children being shot at the parade.
‘All of a sudden everyone behind us started running. I looked back, probably 20 feet away from me, I saw a girl shot and killed. I saw her die. I’ve never seen anything like this,’ a woman, who gave her name only as Zoe, told CNN.
All of the confirmed deaths so far are those of adults.
Many bystanders described multiple rounds being fired in quick succession, alleging they first confused the sound of gunshots with Independence Day fireworks.
‘Everyone thought it was fireworks,’ Zoe explained. ‘My dad thought it was part of the show, and I’m like, ‘Dad, no… something is wrong.’ And I grabbed him. And I looked back at him, and then it was just a sea of panic, and people just falling and falling.’
Jeff Leon, who also attended the parade said it ‘sounded like a string of firecrackers going off inside of a big metal trash bin.’
He claims he heard maybe 20 or 30 pops before he saw people call to the ground and officers starting to move in.
‘After about 10 minutes of this sort of duck and hide, duck and hide, people were sort of calmly walking away from the scene,’ he said.
‘I saw multiple lifeless bodies, people in a pool of blood,’ added one father, who survived with his kids. He said he tossed his son in a dumpster.
Children taking part in the parade in Highland Park ran for their lives when they heard shots ring out
Panicked paradegoers at the scene on Monday. There were loud sounds from the crowd that some said were gunshots
The parade on Monday in Highland Park was attended by dozens of locals who sat on the sidewalk cheering as bands marched past
Highland Park, a suburban city with a population of 30,000, is renowned for being one of Chicago’s most affluent suburbs.
NBA legend Michael Jordan owns a mansion in the area, and it’s also where the enormous mansion featured in ‘Home Alone’ is situated.
The city’s residents are largely families and there is a significant Jewish population in the area, but there is no suggestion the attack was anti-Semitic.
Among those who were participating in the parade was a Hasidic Jewish band. One jarring video showed them slowly making their way down the parade route on a float while those ahead of them – suddenly aware of the danger – ran in the opposite direction.
Nineteen-year-old real estate student Rainan Eli saw the shooting unfold from the window of his apartment on Central Avenue and Second Street.
‘I was just sitting studying for some class I’m taking and watching the parade. I saw lots of people running and, at first, everybody assumed it was fireworks being the Fourth,’ he told DailyMail.com.
Eli pulled out his cell phone and recorded heart-wrenching video of people running and seeking shelter as shots being fired could be heard in the background.
He said two other residents of his apartment building came downstairs with him and gave the 15 to 20 people in the vestibule drinks.
Debbie Glickman, a Highland Park resident, said she was on a parade float with co-workers and the group was prepared to turn onto the main route when she saw people running away from the area
First responders work the scene of a shooting at a parade on July 4 in Highland Park, Ill. Reports indicate at least six people were killed and more than 20 injured in the mass shooting
Law enforcement search after a mass shooting at the Highland Park Fourth of July parade in downtown Highland Park, a Chicago suburb on Monday
Law enforcement search as they walk into a building after a mass shooting at the Highland Park Fourth of July parade in downtown Highland Park, a Chicago suburb on Monday
First responders work the scene of a shooting at a Fourth of July parade on July 4, 2022 in Highland Park, Ill. Reports indicate at least five people were killed and 19 injured in the mass shooting
Debbie Glickman, a Highland Park resident, said she was on a parade float with co-workers and the group was prepared to turn onto the main route when she saw people running away from the area.
‘People started saying ‘There’s a shooter, there’s a shooter, there is a shooter’ ‘ Glickman said. ‘So we just ran. We just ran. It’s like mass chaos down there. I’m so freaked out.’
‘We can’t believe this happened in our little town.’
Matt Phillip, 36, director of tasting room operating at Lynfred Winery, told DailyMail.com: ‘We were open early for the parade and upon hearing what sounded like fireworks, we noticed that people started running down the street.’
‘We opened our doors so they could either seek shelter within our facility or exit through our back-alley door.’
Highland Park is around 30 miles north of the city of Chicago and is a quiet, suburban area
Unlike Chicago, which has one of the worst gun violence records in the country, violent crime in Highland Park is almost unheard of.
The average price of a home in Highland Park was $714,000 in April 2022 and the city has a population of around 30,000.
The town’s mayor, Nancy Rotering, spoke briefly at a press conference along with law enforcement on Monday to share her condolences with the families of those killed.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot tweeted: ‘The tragedy unfolding in Highland Park is devastating.
‘I have been in contact with Mayor Rotering and have offered our support, and the Chicago Police Department is providing assistance.
‘We grieve with the families of the deceased and injured as well as the entire Highland Park community.
‘Law enforcement is working hard to bring the shooter into custody. If anyone has information, we encourage them to call 911 and report what you know.’
Law enforcement search in downtown Highland Park, a Chicago suburb, after a mass shooting at the Highland Park Fourth of July parade
Law enforcement search in downtown Highland Park, a Chicago suburb, after a mass shooting at the Highland Park Fourth of July parade
A gunman opened fire as people gathered to watch a Fourth of July parade in Highland Park, Ill., killing at least six people and injuring dozens
Law enforcement officers look over a park near the scene of a mass shooting at a Fourth of July celebration and parade in Highland Park, Ill.
President Biden – who has been calling for gun reform since the Uvalde shooting on May 24, which claimed 19 lives – issued a statement on Monday afternoon. He said he had given his support to the governor of Illinois and the Highland Park mayor and he celebrated his recent passing of a gun control bill
President Biden – who has been calling for gun reform since the Uvalde school shooting on May 24 that claimed 19 lives – issued a statement on Monday afternoon.
He said he had given his support to the governor of Illinois and the Highland Park mayor, and he celebrated his recent passing of a gun control bill.
‘I recently signed the first major bipartisan gun reform legislation in almost thirty years into law, which includes actions that will save lives,’ Biden said. ‘But there is so much more work to do, and I’m not going to give up fighting the epidemic of gun violence.’
Governor JB Pritzker also addressed the violence, saying: ‘There are no words for the kind of monster who lies in wait and fires into a crowd of families with children celebrating a holiday with their community.
‘There are no words for the kind of evil that robs our neighbors of their hopes, their dreams, their futures.
‘There are no words I can offer to lift the pain of those they live behind. I will stand firm with Illinoisans and Americans: we must – and we will – end this plague of gun violence.’
Synagogue worker is identified as second victim of Chicago July 4 massacre that killed six Source link Synagogue worker is identified as second victim of Chicago July 4 massacre that killed six