Sunday, February 25

They Went to Enjoy a Parade and Never Came Home

A preschool teacher. A great-grandfather visiting from Mexico. Four members of one family gathered with kids.

These are some of the lives that were snuffed out or forever changed by the gunman who opened fire on the Highland Park Fourth of July parade on Monday morning.

Jacki Sundheim’s synagogue, the North Shore Congregation Israel in neighboring Glencoe, announced that she was was one of the seven people killed.

“There are no words sufficient to express the depth of our grief for Jacki’s death and sympathy for her family and loved ones,” the synagogue wrote in an email to congregants. “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, all of this with tireless dedication,” it continued, adding that Jacki was survived by her husband and daughter.

Nicolás Toledo, 78, was is survived by his eight children, a slew of grandkids and one recently arrived great-grandchild. On Monday, he was sitting on his walker and surrounded by his family when he was hit by bullets.

“We all threw ourselves to the ground,” his daughter, Josefina Toledo, told The Daily Beast after the shooting. “My dad, since it’s difficult for him to walk… he was sitting on his walker and he was hit in his back and in his head.”

He was visiting Highland Park, where he used to live, from Mexico, where he was born and had retired. His family attended the parade every year as a tradition.

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Josefina said one of her nieces’ boyfriends was also one of the dozens injured in the attack—he was in a stable condition on Monday but was facing surgery to remove a bullet from near his lungs. “There isn’t a safe place anymore,” Josefina added.

The names of the other five people killed have not been released. More than two-dozen others were wounded, including four members of a single family, according to a GoFundMe.

Sharing a link to a medical bill fundraiser on Tuesday morning, the Chicago Teachers Union said William Dever Elementary School teacher Zoe Kolpack and her husband, named elsewhere as Stephen Kolpack, were wounded in the attack

“They were with their two children, who were unharmed,” the tweet read. The fundraiser’s creator, who called Zoe her “best friend,” added that the teacher’s father and brother-in-law were also hit. “They are all in the hospital undergoing various surgeries, which will seriously impact these families financially,” the fundraiser description reads.

Doctors who treated the dozens of wounded people at local hospitals said the victims ranged in age between 8 and 85. David Baum, a local physician who attended the parade with his family, saw some of the devastating wounds firsthand when the shooting stopped.

“I saw horrific, devastating injuries, the kind that you normally see in a war,” Baum told The Daily Beast on Monday, adding that the bodies of those killed “were literally blown up by those bullets.”

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