Highland Park: Funerals begin for victims of US July 4th shooting near Chicago

·2-min read
Flowers and candles at a memorial for victims of the shooting (REUTERS)
Flowers and candles at a memorial for victims of the shooting (REUTERS)

Mourners paid tribute to victims of the Highland Park shooting on Friday as funerals began for the seven people killed at a July 4th parade.

The funerals of Jacquelyn Sundheim, 63, Stephen Straus, 88, and Nicolas Toledo Zaragoza, 78,  began Friday at two synagogues and a church, with loved ones paying moving tribute.

Synagogue members at North Shore Congregation Israel near the Chicago suburb described Ms Sundheim as a dedicated member of the community who constantly checked in on others.

“We are horrified," Rabbi Wendi Geffen said. “We are enraged, sickened, aggrieved, inconsolable for the terror that has befallen us and robbed us of Jacki."

Friends and relatives urged mourners to reflect on Ms Sundheim’s life, the pleasure she took in knitting and her attention to detail when planning bat or bar mitzvahs and weddings.

Mourners also filled the Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation to support the family of Mr Straus, who was remembered as a funny father and grandfather who loved reading and art and still rode the train five days a week to the downtown Chicago office where he worked as a financial adviser.

Son Jonathan described Straus as “truly to his core, just a sweet, generous person” while his other son, Peter, thanked his dad for instilling a love of the “zany” including Mel Brooks.

Friends and family of Mr Toledo-Zaragoza planned to remember him at a service on Friday afternoon while services for another victim, 69-year-old Eduardo Uvaldo, are scheduled for Saturday.

Funeral details for the remaining victims have not been made public.

They were named by authorities as 35-year-old Irina McCarthy and 37-year-old Kevin McCarthy, who were attending the parade with their 2-year-old son, and 64-year-old Katherine Goldstein, a mother of two.

The alleged gunman, Robert E. Crimo III, has been charged with seven counts of first-degree murder.

Investigators have said the suspect legally purchased five weapons and planned the attack for weeks.

Investigators say that Crimo fled the parade by blending in with the fleeing crowd before his arrest.

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