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Mexican grandfather, synagogue teacher among victims of July 4 shooting

07/05/2022 | 04:56pm EDT
Gunfire at a Fourth of July parade in Highland Park

HIGHLAND PARK, Ill. (Reuters) -A teacher at a synagogue and a grandfather in his 70s who came from Mexico to visit his family were among those killed in the shooting at a Fourth of July parade in Chicago suburb Highland Park, according to family and friends.

Nicolas Toledo was the first victim identified by family members after a gunman on a rooftop opened fire on families at the parade on Monday, killing seven and causing injuries to around 50 people. Many of the injured suffered gunshot wounds, while some were hurt by falls, hospital officials said.

"My grandfather Nicolas Toledo father of eight and grandfather to many left us this morning July 4th, what was supposed to be a fun family day turned into a horrific nightmare for us all," his granddaughter, Xochil Toledo, said.

Authorities have not yet officially released the names of victims.

Toledo, in his 70s, had been visiting his family for about the past month. He spent his final days swimming and fishing and being among relatives, his family told media.

Relatives of Toledo were wounded in the shooting but were expected to survive, CBS Chicago reported.

Another victim identified was Jacki Sundheim, a teacher at a Highland Park synagogue.

"Jacki's work, kindness and warmth touched us all, from her teaching at the Gates of Learning Preschool to guiding innumerable among us through life's moments of joy and sorrow," North Shore Congregation Israel said in an email to congregants.

Sundheim was survived by her husband and daughter, it said.

Thirty nine people were taken to hospitals run by NorthShore University HealthSystem, ranging in age from 14 to in their 70s, said spokesman Jim Anthony. Nine remained hospitalized.

A 69-year-old man, was in critical condition with a gunshot wound.

Nine people were treated by Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital, six for gunshot wounds, three for falls, said spokesman Christopher King. Four remain hospitalized, with their conditions ranging from good to fair.

Among those wounded were pre-school teacher Zoe Kolpack and her husband as they sat watching the parade with their two young children, who were unharmed, according to a fundraising page.

Kolpack's father and brother-in-law were also shot, according to a statement by the page's organizer, Samantha Whitehead.

"They are all in the hospital undergoing various surgeries," Whitehead said.

(Additional reporting by Kanishka Singh in Washington Andrew Hay in Taos, New Mexico and Sharon Bernstein in Sacramento, Calif; Editing by Aurora Ellis)

By Brendan O'Brien and Tom Polansek


© Reuters 2022
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