He Was Hesitant About Going to Parade, Ended Up Dead

6 people were killed in the Highland Park shooting
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 5, 2022 12:05 AM CDT
Updated Jul 5, 2022 6:56 AM CDT
76-Year-Old Who Was Reluctant to See Parade Is Among Victims
Empty chairs, a bicycle and a stroller are seen after a mass shooting at the Highland Park Fourth of July parade in downtown Highland Park, Ill., a Chicago suburb on Monday, July 4, 2022.   (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Updated with the identity of a second victim.

Details about the six people killed at a July 4 parade in the Chicago suburb of Highland Park are beginning to emerge. Nicolas Toledo, 76, was among those killed, and the New York Times reports his family said he didn't want to go to the parade. (The Chicago Sun-Times' version is less absolute, saying that Toledo, who used a walker, assumed there would be a large crowd and felt uncertain about attending.) Toledo suffered from disabilities that meant he needed full-time care, and since his family was attending the parade, he needed to go with them. The Times reports his family was so set on going that they set up chairs at midnight the night prior in order to secure a good viewing spot.

Toledo was sitting in a wheelchair when the shooting began and was hit three times; his son and his granddaughter's boyfriend were also shot, but their injuries are not considered life-threatening. The boyfriend remains hospitalized. A GoFundMe set up by the family has raised more than $30,000 and reads in part, "Nicolas Toledo father of 8 and grandfather to many left us this morning July 4th, what was suppose to be a fun family day turned into a horrific nightmare for us all." Fox News reports a second victim has been identified by North Shore Congregation Israel as Jacki Sundheim. The synagogue characterized her as a "lifelong congregant of NSCI and a cherished member of NSCI’s staff team for decades." She leaves behind a husband and daughter.

The 22-year-old suspected gunman was arrested eight hours later. The Chicago Tribune reports the suspect has been linked to a YouTube account with 17 videos, the most ominous of which was posted eight months ago and "features footage of a young man in a bedroom and a classroom along with cartoons of a gunman and people being shot." A voiceover says lines like "I need to just do it. It is my destiny." (More mass shootings stories.)

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