Family members and friends remember the seven victims of the Highland Park mass shooting, who were mothers, fathers, grandparents and neighbors.
Lake County Coroner Jennifer Banek identified six of the seven 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; and Nicolas Toledo-Zaragoza, 78, of Morelos, Mexico.
The seventh victim who died at a hospital on Tuesday was identified by the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office as Eduardo Uvaldo, 69, of Waukegan.
Goldstein was described by her friend Jill Kirshenbaum as a bird lover, and she remembers how much she cared for her children, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
Kirshenbaum called Goldstein “the kindest, sweetest.”
Goldstein wanted her children to be successful. “She really loved her family,” Kirshenbaum said.
The two McCarthys are the parents of two-year-old Aiden McCarthy.
Aiden was found by bystanders wandering around following the chaos of the Monday morning shooting.
The boy did not know his or his parents’ names and was taken to the Highland Park Police Department where he was reunited with his grandfather, Michael Levberg.
“When I picked him up, he said, ‘Are Mommy and Daddy coming soon?’” Levberg told the Chicago Tribune. “He doesn’t understand.”
Levberg told the Chicago Sun-Times that Aiden’s father, Kevin, died protecting Aiden. “He had Aiden under his body when he was shot,” Levberg said.
A GoFundMe account created Tuesday has raised over $2.7 million for the young boy and his family members.
Toledo was described as a loving, creative, adventurous and funny man, his family said in a GoFundMe account.
Toledo’s granddaughter, Xochil Toledo, told the Chicago Sun-Times that her grandfather was “happy to be living in the moment.”
Three bullets struck and killed her grandfather. Xochil Toledo said her grandfather saved her life, her boyfriend’s life and her cousins’ life.
According to the Chicago Tribune, Sundheim was an employee and lifelong member of the North Shore Congregation Israel in Glencoe.
Ros Lotzof, who knew Sundheim as a resident of her neighborhood, remembered her as a “wonderful, sweet lady” and “caring wife.”
“I can’t say enough about her. She was the kindest, sweetest person — always welcoming,” Lotzof told the Tribune.
Straus was described by his longtime neighbor as “always kind” and “always thoughtful,” the Daily Herald reported.
Gayle Teicher was Straus’s neighbor for 50 years.
“Mr. Straus would come over, ring the doorbell and stand in the kitchen and make sure we had what we needed, and talk a little bit and say hello. He was always caring,” Teicher said.
Teicher highlighted how Straus would always be walking, calling it a “part of what sort of set his way of living.”
“He walked to the Ravinia train station and was still working. He walked in the snow and the rain.”
Straus is survived by his wife, two sons, brother and four grandchildren.
Uvaldo died at a hospital in Cook County two days after the shooting.
His family prayed for a positive outcome, but doctors told them his chance of survival is low.
Nivia Guzman said in a GoFundMe account that her younger brother and both grandparents were injured in the shooting.
Uvaldo was shot in the arm and back of the head. He was transported to the hospital in critical condition.
“My grandpa is a kind, loving, and funny man who did not deserve this,” Guzman said.
Police said that Robert E. Crimo III, 21, of Highwood, was responsible for the shooting that occurred around 10:14 a.m. Monday near Second Street and Central Avenue in Highland Park.
He was charged with seven counts of first-degree murder Tuesday evening, Lake County State’s Attorney Eric Rinehart said.
Many additional charges will be filed against Crimo, Rinehart said.
Lake County Major Crime Task Force Spokesman Christopher Covelli said that Crimo pre-planned the attack for several weeks.
Crimo allegedly brought a high-powered rifle to the Fourth of July parade in Highland Park.
Covelli said that Crimo used a fire escape ladder to access the roof of a building on the parade route.
Crimo then allegedly opened fire on parade-goers, killing seven people and injuring over 45 people. Over 80 rounds were fired from the rifle.
Crimo, who was dressed as a woman, exited the roof, dropped the rifle and escaped with the fleeing crowd, according to Covelli.
Crimo walked to his mother’s Highland Park home, which is nearby the parade route, and borrowed her silver 2010 Honda Fit, Covelli said.
A person spotted the wanted Honda Fit as it traveled southbound on Route 41 in North Chicago around 6:30 p.m. Monday as an intense manhunt was underway.
The person called 911 and a North Chicago police officer who was sitting at Route 41 and Buckley Road in North Chicago spotted Crimo drive past in the vehicle, Covelli and Highland Park Police Chief Lou Jogmen said.
A short pursuit ensued and it came to an end at Route 41 and Westleigh Road in Lake Forest.
Officers arrested Crimo and located a second rifle in his vehicle. The two rifles along with three other guns seized were legally purchased by Crimo himself.
Covelli said in a follow-up press conference that law enforcement had two prior encounters with Crimo.
One of those occurred in April 2019 when Highland Park police responded to a delayed report from a family member that Crimo attempted suicide.
Officers spoke to Crimo and his parents and determined the matter was being handled by mental health professionals, Covelli said.
The second encounter was in September 2019 when a family member reported Crimo threatened to “kill everyone.”
Police responded and removed 16 knives and other weapons from his residence. They then notified the Illinois State Police but officers did not arrest Crimo.
Covelli said there are no indications anyone else was involved in the Monday shooting.
Crimo confessed to the attack and told investigators that he had contemplated committing a second attack in Wisconsin.
He remains held in the Lake County Jail after Lake County Judge Theodore Potkonjak ordered him held without bond Wednesday morning.