Highland Park Death Toll Rises To 7, Officials Release Victims’ Names

Highland Park Death Toll Rises To 7, Officials Release Victims’ Names

A seventh victim of the Highland Park mass shooting at an Independence Day parade died on Tuesday, bringing the total number of deceased and injured from the incident to 53, officials said.

While the name of the seventh victim is still unknown, officials revealed during a press conference on Tuesday the names of the six others who died in the Fourth of July tragedy.

Five victims were from Highland Park, including 64-year-old Katherine Goldstein, 35-year-old Irina McCarthy, 37-year-old Kevin McCarthy, 63-year-old Jacki Sundheim, and 88-year-old Stephen Straus.

Husband and wife Kevin and Irina McCarthy were among the seven killed during the Fourth of July tragedy. At some point during the chaos, they were separated from their two-year-old son, Aiden, CBS 2 reported.

Dana and Greg Ring found the child with a stranger, who the couple said was in shock.

“She was physically shaking, her whole body,” Dana Ring told CBS 2. “Which told us that … she shouldn’t be having to hold, and/or deal with a little one at the same time.”

Greg said he took Aiden, put him in his arms, and searched for the parents before taking him to the fire department. Authorities later picked up Aiden and reunited him with his grandparents at the hospital.

The child was not harmed.

Also killed was Jacki Sundheim, a lifelong congregant and “beloved” staff member at nearby North Shore Congregation Israel, which announced her death on its website.

The Chicago Sun-Times reported that Sundheim taught preschool and coordinated events on staff at the congregation.

The congregation said in a statement about Sundheim that her “work, kindness, and warmth touched us all,” and she spent decades working “with tireless dedication.”

The sixth victim — 78-year-old Nicolas Toledo-Zaragoza — lived in Morelos, Mexico.

The Chicago Sun-Times reported that Zaragoza, who was shot and killed at the scene, came to Highland Park to visit his family. His granddaughter, Xochil Toledo, told the Sun-Times that he spent most of his life in Morelos, Mexico. She remembers looking over at her grandfather as a band passed them.

“He was so happy,” she said. “Happy to be living in the moment.”

She said the suspect shot her father in the arm as he attempted to save her grandfather. Her boyfriend was also shot by the suspect in the back and was later taken to the hospital.

Mayor Nancy Rotering spoke during the press conference on Tuesday, offering her condolences.

“The Highland Park community, like so many before us, is devastated,” Rotering told reporters. “It is impossible to imagine the pain of this kind of tragedy until it happens in your backyard.”

Rotering said officials have focused on the perpetrator over the last 36 hours, but as the names and faces of those lost from yesterday’s “heinous crime” are made known, the focus shifts to the victims and those left behind.

“This crisis has devastated entire families and our community in a single moment, and we know it will take time to heal on behalf of the community and the world that mourns alongside us,” she said. “And while we’re hurting, we know that we will continue to come together and support each other as we always do in difficult times.”

“We are Highland Park strong,” she added.

The shooting began shortly after the parade got underway, and multiple people were reportedly struck. A Chicago Sun-Times reporter saw several bloodied bodies covered with blankets and other people who were visibly wounded at the scene.

According to a report from the Sun-Times, “The Highland Park Fourth of July parade ended in panic when shots were fired about 10 minutes after the parade kicked off at 10 a.m. Monday, striking an unknown number of parade-goers and sending hundreds of people running for safety.”

“I heard 20 to 25 shots, which were in rapid succession. So it couldn’t have been just a handgun or a shotgun,” Miles Zaremski, a Highland Park resident and witness to the shooting, told the Sun-Times. Zaremski also said that among the wounded, he had seen “a woman covered with blood. … She did not survive.”

NBC 5 Chicago reported that an official said the gunmen fired 70 rounds into the parade from a legally purchased high-powered rifle similar to an AR-15. Authorities received a tip from a North Chicago resident who spotted the suspect’s car. The suspect tried to escape, but officers eventually took him into custody and recovered another rifle from his mother’s car.

Officials said that the suspect had planned the attack for weeks, but they had not discovered a motive.

Initial reports identified the suspect as a 22-year-old male. However, an FBI bulletin and the suspect’s social media indicate he is 21.

Lake County Major Crime Task Force spokesperson Sgt. Christopher Covelli said the suspect wore women’s clothing during the mass shooting.

“During the attack, [the suspect] was dressed in women’s clothing,” said Sgt. Christopher Covelli, of the Lake County Major Crime Task Force, FOX 10 reported.

Covelli said he anticipates an announcement of charges for the suspect during the State Attorney’s Office press conference scheduled on Tuesday evening.

Previous articles included the suspect’s name because he was still at large, but due to The Daily Wire’s policy against publishing the names of mass shooters, his name will be redacted in all future stories.

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