Chicago shooting: Parents of two-year-old boy among victims

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A child's bike, a scooter and chairs left at the scene of the mass shooting in Highland Park, Illinois. Photo: 4 July 2022Image source, Reuters
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Officials say seven people died and another 30 were injured in the attack in Highland Park, just north of Chicago

The mother and the father of a two-year-old boy found wandering alone were among the seven victims of a mass shooting near Chicago.

Irina McCarthy, 35, and Kevin McCarthy, 37, were shot dead after a gunman on a rooftop opened fire on spectators at a 4 July parade in Highland Park.

Their son Aiden was unhurt. He is being looked after by his grandparents.

Relatives and friends have been paying tributes to the McCarthy couple and the other victims of the attack.

Aiden was separated from his parents during the shooting, said a couple who were at the scene of the attack.

Dana and Greg Ring told CBS they found the toddler with a stranger, who was "physically shaking, her whole body".

"We took the little boy. I put him in my arms," Mr Ring said. He described the scene of the attack as "carnage".

A GoFundMe page has been created to raise money for Aiden, with the account raising almost $2m (£1.67m) in little more than 12 hours.

The fund, which says it is run by a friend of the family, says any money raised will be used to help "the caregivers who will be tasked with raising, caring for, and supporting Aiden".

His father, Kevin, was remembered as a "star employee" by his boss at Jaguar Gene Therapy, Joe Nolan.

"Outside of work he was a very proud dad and devoted husband who adored his family. We will miss him tremendously," Mr Nolan told NBC.

Aiden's mother, Irina, was born in Russia and settled in Chicago with her family. Her father Michael Levberg told the Chicago Sun that she attended DePaul University in the city before working in the pharmaceutical industry.

An only child, Mr Levberg called her "the love of my life".

He added that the McCarthys "were crazy about" their son and had been planning on having a second child in the near future.

Image source, Family photo / Gofundme
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Nicolas Toledo loved fishing, painting and going on walks in parks, his family said

Another of those killed, 78-year-old Nicolas Toledo, was described as a "loving" and "adventurous" man by his granddaughter.

He was watching the parade in his wheelchair when he was shot.

"What was supposed to be a fun family day turned into a horrific nightmare for us all," granddaughter Xochil Toledo wrote on the GoFundMe website.

"As a family we are broken, and numb. Our condolences go out to all the other families who lost a loved one today."

Mr Toledo was a father of eight and said to enjoy fishing, painting and going on walks in parks.

Two other family members were also hit but were not seriously injured, the family added.

Also killed was Jacki Sundheim, who worked at a local synagogue, North Shore Congregation Israel.

"There are no words sufficient to express the depth of our grief for Jacki's death and sympathy for her family and loved ones," a statement by the synagogue said.

"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.

The synagogue said Ms Sundheim was survived by her husband and daughter.

And family members described another victim Stephen Straus, 88, as an "honourable man" who worked his whole life.

Mr Straus was a financial adviser and father-of-two who took the train every day to his office at a brokerage firm in Chicago.

In a statement, his sons described him as a man "curious about the world" and "a product of Chicago", while his niece, Cynthia, told local media that he had "unquenchable thirst for life".

One other victim has also been identified. Katherine Goldstein, 64.

Her husband, Dr Craig Goldstein, told the New York Times that she was the mother of two daughters in their 20s. He said she had taken her elder daughter, Cassie, to the Highland Park parade so she could reunite with some school friends.

He added that she loved playing games with her daughters and had devoted her life to being a mother after leaving work in the 1990s.

"The amazing thing about Katie is that she never thought about her own death," Dr Goldstein said. "For me it's almost a preoccupation. She never thought about it."

Six people were initially reported to have died in Monday's attack, but a seventh person died of their injuries on Tuesday.