What was supposed to be a day of celebration turned into a day of shock, chaos and sadness for the small American town of Highland Park, Illinois.
At least six people were killed and dozens more injured Monday when a gunman opened fire at a July 4 parade in suburban Chicago.
Highland Park community in ‘incredible shock’ after deadly July 4 shooting
A person of interest has been arrested in connection with the violence — the latest in a recent spate of mass shootings across the United States, including one at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas that killed 19 people and another at a convenience store in one predominantly black neighborhood in Buffalo, NY that killed 10 people.
Police are naming one person of interest in the July 4 shooting in Illinois
The motive for the Independence Day shooting remains unclear.
Although police have not released details about the victims, at least two of the dead have been identified.
Here’s what we know so far.
Nicolas Toledo, a man in his 70s from Mexico who was visiting family in Illinois, was the first victim to be identified by his family late Monday.
He was shot and died at the scene, his granddaughter Xochil Toledo told the Chicago Sun-Times.
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“My grandfather Nicolas Toledo, father of eight children and grandfather of many, left us this morning, July 4th. What was supposed to be a fun family day turned into a terrible nightmare for all of us,” Xochil Toledo said on a GoFundMe page created for him.
“Nicolas wasn’t just a loving person, creative, adventurous and fun. As a family we are broken and numb,” she wrote.
Toledo’s family set up the GoFundMe page to raise money to send his body back to his native Mexico. The site had raised more than $43,000 as of Tuesday morning.
Toledo had been visiting his family for about a month. He spent his last days swimming, fishing and staying with relatives, his family told the media.
Another person killed in the shooting was Jacki Sundheim, a teacher at a nearby synagogue.
The North Shore Congregation Israel confirmed her death on its website.
Sundheim was a staffer at North Shore Congregation Israel for decades, teaching early in the congregation’s preschool and later serving as its events and b’nei mitzvah coordinator, “all with an unwavering commitment,” the congregation said in its statement on her death.
She was a lifelong congregation and “beloved” collaborator for decades, the Glencoe, Illinois synagogue said in a statement.
“There are no words sufficient to express the depth of our sadness at Jacki’s death and our condolences to her family and loved ones,” the NSCI said.
“Jacki’s work, kindness and warmth have touched all of us, from her teaching at Gates of Learning Preschool to how she has guided countless of us through life’s moments of joy and sadness, all with unflagging dedication,” added her.
She is survived by her husband and daughter.
Twenty-six patients were taken to Highland Park Hospital with gunshot wounds, according to Dr. Bringham Temple, medical director of emergency preparedness at NorthShore University Health Center.
Their ages range from eight to 85, he said, and include four or five children.
Some are in critical condition, including a child, and 19 have been treated and discharged.
Police confirmed Tuesday that no children died as a result of the shooting.
Roberto Velasco, Mexico’s director of North American affairs, said on Twitter that two Mexicans were among the injured.
– with files from Reuters and Associated Press
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https://globalnews.ca/news/8967721/highland-park-illinois-shooting-victims/ Highland Park shooting: grandfather, ‘tireless’ synagogue teacher among victims – National