Two-year-old Boy’s Parents Were Among Those Killed in the Fourth of July Tragedy!
A gunman opened fire on a Fourth of July parade in Highland Park, Illinois, killing seven people and injuring scores more on what was supposed to be a day of national celebration.
The parents of a 2-year-old boy are among those mourning the loss of loved ones in another American neighborhood.
The Lake County Coroner’s Office found out Tuesday that the dead people were Irina and Kevin McCarthy, ages 35 and 37. The family told CNN that after the violence, their son Aiden was found alive and taken to safety.
Katherine Goldstein, 64, of Highland Park; Jacquelyn Sundheim, 63, of Highland Park; Stephen Straus, 88, of Highland Park; and Nicolas Toledo-Zaragoza, 78, of Morelos, Mexico, were the four other victims identified. A seventh victim died at a hospital outside of Lake County, according to the Coroner’s Office.
The Lake County Sheriff’s Office says that about 45 people were hurt or killed during the shooting.
Irina and Kevin McCarthy
A family member says that Irina and Kevin McCarthy, who was killed in the shooting, were the parents of a young child who was found alive.
Irina Colon, who was related to Irina McCarthy, sent CNN a picture of the couple at their wedding in Chicago. The picture did not have a date on it.
Colon said she was not at the parade and found out about the couple’s death from Irina McCarthy’s father. The couple’s 2-year-old son, Aiden, will now be cared for by family members, Colon said.
A verified GoFundMe campaign that Colon began said that in the aftermath of the violence, the young child was taken to safety by community members before his grandparents were located.
“At two years old, Aiden is left in the unthinkable position; to grow up without his parents,” the campaign said. “Aiden will be cared for by his loving family and he will have a long road ahead to heal, find stability, and ultimately navigate life as an orphan. He is surrounded by a community of friends and extended family that will embrace him with love, and any means available to ensure he has everything he needs as he grows.”
“On behalf of his family, and with their permission, I am establishing this fundraiser to support him and the caregivers who will be tasked with raising, caring for, and supporting Aiden as he and his support system embark on this unexpected journey,” it added.
By Tuesday evening, more than $820,000 had been donated through the GoFundMe page.
Jacki Sundheim was also identified by her synagogue as one of the people killed.
The North Shore Congregation Israel in Glencoe said in a statement that Sundheim was a lifelong congregant and a member of the staff, having been a preschool teacher and events coordinator.
“There are no words to describe how sad we are about Jacki’s death and how much we care about her family and friends,” the statement said. “We know you pray with us that Jacki’s soul will be safe under God’s wings and that her family will find some comfort and solace amid their grief.”
Father of eight and grandfather to many, Nicolas Toledo had been visiting his family in Highland Park from Mexico and was identified as a victim in Monday’s shooting, an official from the state of Morelos told CNN.
In a press release, Mexican officials called Toledo Nicolas “N.” This is common in Mexico, where authorities use “N” for any last name on official documents because of a law that protects victims’ rights and privacy.
Toledo loved fishing, painting, and going on walks with his family in the park, one of his granddaughters, Kimberly Rangel, told CNN affiliate WBBM.
“What was supposed (d) to be a fun family day turned into a horrific nightmare for us all,” the organizer of the GoFundMe and another granddaughter, Xochil Toledo wrote. “As a family, we are broken, and numb.”
She described her grandfather as a “loving man” who was “creative, adventurous, and funny.”
The statement from the Mexican government says that six of Toledo’s eight children live in the United States. Two other members of the Toledo family were also hurt in the shooting.
Maxwell Straus, who is 18 years old, told CNN, “He was very busy and liked life.” He went to music festivals, loved being outside, and rode his bike until he was in his 80s.
He said his grandfather had recently mentioned he was going to the parade and was “very excited.”
“It was shocking, hard to imagine,” Maxwell Straus said.
Tobias Straus, who is 20 years old, told CNN that hearing that his grandfather had died was “the worst thing that could happen.”
Tobias Straus said, “He still had a lot of life in him, and he was in no way ready to die.” “This doesn’t happen anywhere else, and I’m sure that my grandfather would still be alive if America had better gun control.”
“The gun lobby and the way guns are revered in American culture are dangerous. Grandfathers die from it, “he added.
Straus’ grandsons told CNN they had a close relationship with their grandfather and would see him almost every Sunday — for the usual family dinner.
Another man fighting for his life
Eduardo Uvaldo, who was shot and is 69 years old, was taken off life support and was fighting for his life at Evanston Hospital on Tuesday, his daughter told CNN.
A verified GoFundMe page says that Uvaldo was shot in the arm and then in the back of the head. Uvaldo-Mendez said that his wife and grandson were also hurt.
Uvaldo-Mendez told CNN that her mother got stuck with bullet fragments on her forehead and hand and added that while she was physically doing OK, “emotionally, she’s distraught.”
A few months ago, Eduardo Uvaldo and his wife celebrated 50 years of marriage, his daughter said. “His four daughters and my mom were his whole world,” she added.
Eduardo Uvaldo and his wife celebrated 50 years of marriage a few months ago, his daughter said, adding, “his four daughters and my mom were his everything.”
Uvaldo-Mendez described her father as hard-working: From time to time he liked to remind his daughters that he worked for 30 years and never missed a single day, she said.
She said that he avoided parades because he doesn’t like big crowds, but he liked the one at Highland Park and went every year.
He will turn 70 on Friday, his daughter said.
The medical director of the NorthShore University Health System, Dr. Brigham Temple, said that 26 people went to Highland Park Hospital.
Temple said that the patients’ ages ranged from 8 to 85 and that four or five of them were children.
Barbara Medina, who is 46 years old, was also hurt, but not by gunfire. Instead, she was hurt when people ran away from the area to get away from the chaos.
She told CNN that she was in the parade when she heard gunshots. As a crowd of people rushed toward her, she dropped the sign she was holding, grabbed her 7-year-old daughter and her scooter, and ran. Her 12-year-old son and her father were no longer with her.
Medina fell off her scooter at one point and hurt her left arm. Medina didn’t go to the hospital and find out she had a broken proximal radius until hours later after she and her daughter were safe and she heard that her son and father were also safe.
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