‘Taken Too Soon’: Remembering the Victims of the Highland Park Shooting | Chicago News

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Residents of the Highland Park, Illinois area listen during a vigil in Highwood, Illinois for the victims of the Highland Park 4th of July Parade mass shooting Monday, Wednesday, July 6 2022. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

CHICAGO (AP) — Two of the victims of the July 4 parade massacre in a Chicago suburb left behind a 2-year-old son. Another was staying with his family in Illinois after being injured in a car accident.

For some it was a tradition. They were great travellers, members of their synagogue and professionals. But in a hail of gunfire, they fell victim to the country’s latest gruesome mass shooting.

The victims were Kevin McCarthy, 37; Irina McCarthy, 35; Katherine Goldstein, 64; Etienne Straus, 88; Jacquelyn Sundheim, 63; Nicolas Toledo-Zaragoza, 78; and Eduardo Uvaldo, 69.

KEVIN and IRINA MCCARTHY

It was meant to be a fun day for the couple, who brought their 2-year-old son, Aiden, with them to watch marching bands and patriotic floats.

Instead, they were killed in the gunfire, leaving their son an orphan. A stranger picked up the blood-covered toddler and handed him to Greg Ring as he and his wife and three children hid behind a popular creperie.

“We kind of crossed our eyes and said nothing. …I reached out and she gave it to me,” Ring said Wednesday, describing the exchange with the unidentified woman, who then lay down in front of their car in shock.

The boy pointed in the direction of the parade route, saying, “Mommy, daddy, mommy, daddy.”

The family was then able to identify the boy and reunite him with his grandparents. Friends of the McCarthys said that Irina’s parents will take care of the boy in the future.

Irina Colon wrote on a GoFundMe page that the boy would have “a long way to go to heal, find stability and ultimately navigate life as an orphan.”

STEP STRAUS

Straus showed up to the parade early and attended alone, according to his grandchildren, who dined with him the night before.

The Independence Day parade was an annual tradition for Straus – one of the many ways the 88-year-old financial adviser stayed active and involved in his community. According to his family, Straus took the train to work every day, walked and cycled regularly, and enjoyed visiting art museums and festivals.

“Despite his age, he was taken too soon,” said his grandson Maxwell Straus.

Maxwell and his brother, Tobias, fondly remembered going out for Sunday night dinners with their grandfather, a weekly routine that persisted despite the COVID-19 pandemic, when the grandsons walked past his window.

Losing their grandfather was a surreal experience, the brothers said. “You never really imagine that something like this could happen to you or your loved ones,” Maxwell Straus said.

Stephen Straus is survived by a brother, a wife, his son and four grandchildren.

JACQUELYN SUNDHEIM

Sundheim loved her synagogue, where she once taught preschoolers and coordinated bar and bat mitzvah ceremonies. She had worked there for decades and was a devoted member and known for her kindness and warmth, synagogue officials said in a statement.

“There are not enough words to express the depth of our grief for Jacki’s death and our sympathy for her family and loved ones,” three synagogue leaders said in the statement.

Sundheim, 63, is survived by her husband, Bruce, and their daughter Leah, according to an email the synagogue sent to congregants.

CATHERINE GOLDSTEIN

Goldstein’s husband described her as a laid-back travel companion who was always up for visiting far-flung places.

“She didn’t complain,” said Craig Goldstein, a doctor at the hospital. The New York Times. “She was always there for the ride.”

Goldstein was the mother of two daughters in her early twenties, Cassie and Alana. She attended the parade with her eldest daughter, Cassie, so she could catch up with friends from high school, Goldstein said.

He said his wife had recently lost her mother and had been thinking about what kind of arrangements she might want when she died.

He recalled that Katherine, an avid birdwatcher, said she wanted to be cremated and her remains scattered in Chicago’s Montrose Beach neighborhood, where there is a bird sanctuary.

NICOLAS TOLEDO-ZARAGOZA

Toledo-Zaragoza had come to Illinois to visit family about two months ago, her granddaughter, Xochil Toledo, said. Chicago Sun-Times.

His family wanted him to stay permanently because of injuries he suffered after being hit by a car a few years ago on a previous visit to Highland Park. The newspaper reported that he was hit by three bullets and died at the scene.

His death left a large, loving family mourning their loss.

Nicolas was a “loving, creative, adventurous and funny man,” Toledo wrote in an online fundraising post, describing him as a father of eight and a grandfather to many. “I love you abuelito.”

EDUARDO UVALDO

For the Uvaldo family, like others in the Highland Park area, the Independence Day parade was an annual tradition, according to a GoFundMe page organized by his granddaughter, Nivia Guzman.

When gunfire erupted from a rooftop along the parade route, Eduardo Uvaldo was shot in the arm and in the back of the head. His wife, Maria, was hit in the head by shrapnel and his grandson was shot in the arm.

Eduardo Uvaldo was taken to hospital where, after being treated and evaluated by doctors, the family was told there was nothing more they could do, Guzman wrote. An update from GoFundMe shows it was removed from life support on Tuesday.

Uvaldo died just before 8am on Wednesday at Evanston Hospital.


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