Highland Park shooting victims remembered for kindness, warmth; 7th victim ID'd

Nicolas Toledo's granddaughter, son recall seeing him die before their eyes

ByKaren Jordan, Evelyn Holmes, Liz Nagy, and Maher Kawash WLS logo
Thursday, July 7, 2022
Victims of Highland Park shooting remembered for kindness, warmth
Officials identified all 7 of the people killed in the Highland Park parade shooting on the 4th of July.

HIGHLAND PARK, Ill. (WLS) -- The scene of the massacre in Highland Park is finally starting to return to normal, as debris -- chairs and strollers that were left behind in the chaos amid a shooting that took the lives of seven and injured dozens more -- is cleaned up.

But the impact of these losses stretches far and wide. Victims ranged from 35 to 88 years old. Those were mothers, fathers and grandparents.

Officials Tuesday identified six of the victims killed in the Highland Park parade shooting on the Fourth of July, and the seventh was identified by the Cook County medical examiner Wednesday.

Eduardo Uvaldo, 69, of Waukegan died just after 7:45 a.m. Wednesday morning, the medical examiner's office said.

The retiree went to the Highland Park Fourth of July parade with his wife, two of his daughters, and his grandkids. He was shot in the back of his head and died from his injuries a day after the attack.

Uvaldo's wife and grandson were also injured, but are recovering. His family is struggling with the loss of their patriarch, and wondering why someone would do something like this.

"He was a loving grandfather, a loving father," said Jackie Tapia, family friend. "Everybody is devastated."

At least 39 people were injured after police said a shooter opened fire on the parade from a rooftop.

The Lake County Coroner identified the other six victims killed as:

  • Katherine Goldstein, 64, of Highland Park
  • Irina McCarthy, 35, of Highland Park
  • Kevin McCarthy, 37, of Highland Park
  • Jacquelyn Sundheim, 63, of Highland Park
  • Stephen Straus, 88, of Highland Park
  • Nicolas Toledo-Zargoza, 78 of Morelos, Mexico

Toledo-Zargoza's family said he had worked around the Highland Park area for many years after arriving in the U.S. in the 1980s.

He was retired and lived in Mexico, but would come during the summer to spend time with his kids and grandchildren. That's who he attended Monday's parade with.

"Everything happened so fast": Nicolas Toledo's son and granddaughter were with him when a gunman opened fire on Highland Park's 4th of July parade. They said he was the first to be killed.

"Everything happened so fast," said his granddaughter Xochil Toledo, who asked for her face to be hidden when she spoke with ABC7.

She's now haunted by memories of seeing her grandfather so elated so shortly before his death.

"We were telling my grandpa to clap, but since he can't clap he was moving his little fingers around," she said.

That's her last memory of him alive. But before she even recognized the sounds she heard were gunfire, everything changed.

"When I see blood scattered on me, that's when I knew things were getting serious," she said. "I look behind me and my grandpa's on the floor. He had passed away. And my dad was right next to him hugging him. Wouldn't leave his side. And that's when I knew my grandpa had passed away."

Gerardo Toledo leaped to try to save his father, but the bullets were faster.

"He's dying in seconds, you know?" he said.

They said he was the first person shot, and died right there on the parade route, surrounded by his family.

A funeral service for Toledo-Zaragoza will be held at 5 to 8 p.m. Friday at Iglesia Emanuel in Waukegan.

Katie Goldstein is being glowingly remembered as "everybody's best friend." No one has ever met anyone nicer, her husband said.

Calling her an "extraordinary person," friends said Goldstein was an avid bird watcher who loved visiting the Chicago Botanic Garden. She was also a great cook who was always experimenting with new recipes.

A growing memorial to the victims of the Highland Park parade shooting has become a place for residents to find solace and healing.

"She was the best mom in the world," her daughters Cassie and Alana said.

Her death, along with the six others, moved Mary Bernier to place seven handcrafted wood shrines, one for each victim, at the town's growing memorial to provide a place of solace and healing for the community.

Irina and Kevin McCarthy's 2-year-old son was found wandering alone in the wake of the shooting Monday, and safely reunited with his grandparents.

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A toddler found bloodied and alone after the Highland Park parade shooting lost both parents Irina and Kevin McCarthy in the massacre.

"When we pulled in, it looked like the cops were getting ready for war; I'll never forget. I pulled up, and I said 'this is not our kid. It's not his blood; he's OK. What should we do?' And the cop said, 'we can't be babysitters now; can you take care of him?' We said, 'of course," parade-goer Greg Ring said.

Now the community is trying to rally around the little boy, raising more than $2 million on GoFundMe page in just two days. Both parents were only in their thirties and their son is left with his grandparents.

"He didn't know," Adrienne Rosenblatt, neighbor of the victims, said. "I don't know how they're going to tell him. How do you tell any 18-month-old boy that mommy and daddy are in heaven now?"

Stephen Straus was a financial adviser who still took the train every day to his office at a brokerage firm in Chicago, his family said.

"He was an honorable man who worked his whole life," a niece said. "He should not have had to die this way."

The North Shore Congregation Israel confirmed that Sundheim was a lifelong synagogue congregant and staff member.

Friends said her kindness can't be forgotten.

"She just had a smile on her face all the time," Howard Miller, Sundheim's friend and colleague. "She was probably the last one out of here every night. Just couldn't find a lovelier person."

In a statement, the congregation said, "...our beloved Jacki Sundheim was one of the victims murdered at the Highland Park parade."

They went on to call her a cherished member known for her kindness and warmth.

A memorial service for Sundheim will be held Friday at 11 a.m. at North Shore Congregation Israel, followed by a shiva from noon to 3 p.m.

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Among some 39 people wounded or injured in the attack were Chicago Public Schools teacher Zoe Kolpack and her husband, Steven.

Although their children were not hurt, the educator's father and brother-in-law were also shot and wounded. Kolpack teaches at Dever Elementary.

CPS said in a statement, "Chicago Public Schools (CPS) is devastated to learn that one of our CPS teachers and her family members are among those who were injured in Monday's mass shooting in Highland Park. We are thinking of our William Dever Elementary colleague and her family, as well as all those impacted by this tragedy. CPS officials have been in contact with the teacher and her family and our crisis team and support services will be available to support the Dever Elementary staff and students as needed."

Highland Park hospital officials said nine people remained hospitalized Tuesday, ranging in age from 14 to their 70s.

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Four are in good condition, four remain stable and one, a 69-year-old man, is in critical condition. Eight of the nine patients were shot.

One patient, an 8-year-old boy, was taken to University of Chicago Comer Children's Hospital.