Highland Park Shooting
Highland Park shooting victims include couple whose 2-year-old son is now orphaned
Officials released the names on Tuesday of six of the seven people killed by a gunman during Monday's Fourth of July parade in the Chicago suburb of Highland Park. More than 30 other people were injured when gunman fired about 70 shots from an AR-15-style rifle, and nine people were still hospitalized Tuesday night. CNN's Anderson Cooper paid tribute to the six slain parade-goers identified so far.
Kevin McCarthy, 37, and Irina McCarthy, 35, took their 2-year-old son, Aiden, to the parade. Aiden was found wandering around after the shooting, and his maternal grandfather, Michael Levberg, picked him up from the police station. Kevin McCarthy died shielding his son from the bullets, Levberg told the Chicago Sun-Times. "He had Aiden under his body when he was shot." When Levberg picked Aiden up at the station, he added, the toddler told him, "Mommy and Daddy are coming soon." Levberg said his only daughter, Irinia, "was the love of my life." He and his wife, Nina Levberg, will help raise Aiden.
Katherine Goldstein, 64, accompanied one of her two daughters to the parade. Her husband, Craig Goldstein, said that after his wife's mother died recently, she decided she wanted to be cremated and have her ashes scattered at a nearby bird sanctuary, but that was out of character. "The amazing thing about Katie is that she never thought about her own death," he told The New York Times. "For me it's almost a preoccupation." Her daughter Cassie, 22, described what happened to NBC News.
Nicolas Toledo-Zaragoza, 78, had recently returned to Highland Park from his native Mexico to be with his family. He did not want to go to the parade, but he was having fun before the shooting began, his son Angel Toledo told The Wall Street Journal. "We brought him over here so he could have a better life," granddaughter Xochil Toledo told the Times. "His sons wanted to take care of him and be more in his life, and then this tragedy happened."
Stephen Straus, 88, was past retirement age but still commuted into Chicago five days a week to work as a financial planner. He was in great shape and "had an unquenchable thirst for life," his niece, Cynthia Straus, told Forward. "Steve looked out for the whole family," she added. "He was like a big, big oak tree, an umbrella of well-being for all of us. It's a big loss."
Jacqueline Sundheim, 63, was a longtime staff member at her synagogue, North Shore Congregation Israel, Rabbi Wendi Geffen wrote. "Jacki's work, kindness, and warmth touched us all," from teaching preschool to "guiding innumerable among us through life's moments of joy and sorrow, all of this with tireless dedication." She was, Forward noted, the third Jewish victim known to have died from Monday's attack, along with Straus and Irina McCarthy.