State Watch

Here’s what we know about the Highland Park victims

A mass shooting on Monday in Highland Park, Ill., left seven people dead and around two dozen others injured after a gunman opened fire at a Fourth of July parade in the northern Chicago suburb.

The victims of the tragedy include the parents of a 2-year-old toddler and a stockbroker who was also a good joke-teller.

Details are still forthcoming on the seventh victim of the shooting. Here’s what we know about the victims who were identified by the Lake County Coroner’s Office on Tuesday.

Irina and Kevin McCarthy

Irina, 35, and Kevin, 37, of Highland Park, left behind a 2-year-old toddler, who was pinned underneath his father after he was shot. The toddler was rescued by a woman and her friends.

After the tragedy, young Aiden McCarthy was taken to his grandparents. A GoFundMe fundraiser to support the child has raised nearly $2 million, from more than 37,000 donations, as of Wednesday morning.

Irina Colon wrote on the fundraiser page that the “North Shore community rallied to help a boy who we knew nothing about.”

“He will have a long road ahead to heal, find stability, and ultimately navigate life as an orphan,” Colon said, but he “is surrounded by a community of friends and extended family that will embrace him with love, and any means available to ensure he has everything he needs as he grows.”

Irina was born in Russia but settled in the Chicago area with her parents, the Chicago Sun-Times reported. She met Kevin, who worked for a gene therapy startup company, after she landed a job as a digital marketer in the pharmaceutical industry.

Michael Levberg, the grandfather of Irina, told the Chicago newspaper his daughter was the “love of my life.”

Irina and Kevin were “crazy about” their son Aiden, Levberg said, and they were planning to have another child.

Jacquelyn Sundheim

Sundheim, 63, was a member, teacher and organizer at her local synagogue, North Shore Congregation Israel (NSCI) in Glencoe, Ill.

In a statement to the Jewish Chronicle, the synagogue said “Jacki was a lifelong congregant of NSCI and a cherished member of NSCI’s staff team for decades.”

“There are no words sufficient to express the depth of our grief for Jacki’s death and sympathy for her family and loved ones,” officials wrote.

Katherine Goldstein 

Goldstein, 64, of Highland Park, had recently lost her mother and went to the parade to spend time with her daughter, Cassie Goldstein.

Cassie Goldstein told NBC News‘s Lester Holt she “got to have 22 years with the best mom in the world.”  

Katie Goldstein leaves behind two daughters and a husband. 

Nicolas Toledo-Zaragoza

Toledo-Zaragoza, 78, was from Mexico and traveled to Highland Park to visit relatives.

His granddaughter, Xochil Toledo, wrote on a GoFundMe fundraiser page that her grandfather was a father of eight children.

Toledo said her grandfather was a “loving man, creative, adventurous and funny.”

“Today Nicolas is our guardian angel,” she added.

Stephen Straus

At 88, Straus was an avid reader, exceptional joke-teller and an arts lover who loved the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Chicago Tribune reported. He worked five days a week as a stockbroker, commuting to work everyday during the work week.

His son, Jonathan Straus, told the Tribune his father grew up in Chicago but was a longtime Highland Park resident who “loved his city.”

He is survived by his wife, two sons and four grandchildren.

Tags Highland Park Illinois Irina and Kevin McCarthy Katherine Goldstein mass shooting Nicolas Toledo-Zaragoza Stephen Straus Victims
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