What was supposed to be a day of celebration turned into one of shock, chaos and mourning for the small American town of Highland Park in Illinois.

At least six people were killed and dozens more injured Monday when a gunman opened fire on a Fourth of July parade in the Chicago-area suburb.

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Highland Park community in ‘unbelievable shock’ after deadly July 4 shooting

A person of interest has been arrested in connection to the violence – the latest in a recent series of mass shootings in the United States that includes one at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, that killed 19 and another at a supermarket in a predominately Black neighbourhood in Buffalo, N.Y., that killed 10.


Click to play video: 'Police name person of interest in 4th of July parade shooting in Illinois'







Police name person of interest in 4th of July parade shooting in Illinois


Police name person of interest in 4th of July parade shooting in Illinois

The motive for the Independence Day shooting remains unclear.

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Although police have not released details about the victims, at least two of the dead have been identified.

Here is what we know so far.


Nicolas Toledo was described as “a loving man, creative, adventurous and funny” by his family.


Photo credit: Xochil Toledo/GoFund

Nicolas Toledo, a man in his 70s from Mexico who was visiting family in Illinois, was the first victim identified as of late Monday, by his family.

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He was shot and died at the scene, his granddaughter, Xochil Toledo, told the Chicago Sun-Times.

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“My grandfather Nicolas Toledo, father of eight and grandfather to many left us this morning July 4th. What was supposed to be a fun family day turned into a horrific nightmare for us all,” Xochil Toledo said on a GoFundMe page created for him.

“Not only was Nicolas a loving man, creative, adventurous and funny. As a family we are broken, and numb,” she wrote.

Toledo’s family set up GoFundMe page to raise money to send his body back to his native Mexico. The page had raised more than $43,000 as of Tuesday morning.

Toledo had been visiting his family for about the past month. He spent his final days swimming and fishing and being among relatives, his family told the media.

Highland Park shooting victims


Jacki Sundheim was a “lifelong congregant” and staff member at nearby North Shore Congregation Israel.


Photo credit: North Shore Congregation Israel

Another person killed in the shooting was Jacki Sundheim, a teacher at a nearby synagogue.

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The North Shore Congregation Israel confirmed her death on its website.

Sundheim had spent decades on the staff at North Shore Congregation Israel, early on teaching at the congregation’s preschool and later serving as Events and B’nei Mitzvah Coordinator, “all of this with tireless dedication,” the congregation said in its statement announcing her death.

She was a lifelong congregant and “beloved” staff member for decades, the synagogue in Glencoe, Ill., said in a statement.

“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 NSCI said.

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“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 added.

She is survived by her husband and daughter.

Twenty-six patients were sent to Highland Park hospital with gunshot injuries, according to Dr. Bringham Temple, medical director of emergency preparedness for NorthShore University Health Center.

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Their ages range from eight to 85 years old, he said, and include four or five children.

Some are in critical condition, including one child, and 19 have been treated and discharged.

Police confirmed Tuesday no children have died as a result of the shooting.

Roberto Velasco, Mexico’s director for North American affairs, said on Twitter that two Mexicans were among the wounded.

— with files from Reuters and the Associated Press

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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