A former preschool teacher. An outdoorsy and doting grandfather.

These are two of the six people who were killed when a gunman opened fire Monday on the Fourth of July parade in Highland Park, Ill., a well-to-do Chicago suburb.

For the Toledo family, going to the parade is a family tradition. The Toledos gather their lawn chairs and coolers and walk to the same spot each year — in front of Uncle Dan’s outdoor store, near Second Street and Central Avenue.

On Monday, a gunman began shooting from a rooftop near where the family was watching the parade, killing Nicolás Toledo, reported to be in his 70s, and injuring others nearby.

“It’s just horrific,” said Toledo’s grandson David Toledo, recalling the moment his cousin called to tell him. “No one should ever receive that call.”

Nicolás Toledo was a loving father and grandfather who had spent most of the past three decades in Highland Park after immigrating to the United States, said David Toledo, 30.

“He was a funny guy,” he said. “Always playful, always cracking jokes and playing with his grandkids. He would always make us laugh.”

He said his grandfather emigrated from Morelos, Mexico, in the 1980s, settling down alongside family members in the Chicago area. Nicolás Toledo loved being outdoors, especially fishing on Fox Lake, near the Wisconsin border. His relatives told the New York Times that Toledo was a dual Mexican-American national and had recently moved back from Mexico to Highland Park so that his family could better care for him as he struggled with health issues.

David Toledo, who lives in Chicago, said the last time he saw his grandfather was at a gathering at his aunt’s house in Highland Park. The family watched over him together, sharing the responsibilities of taking care of him — but that didn’t stop the jokes and playfulness, David Toledo said.

“I would ask if he needed help. He’s like, ‘No, I’m okay. I’m good,’ ” he said. “And I was like ‘Are you sure? I mean, you’re getting old now.’ ”

Those who knew Jacki Sundheim, one of the first victims identified in Monday’s shooting, described her as warm and tirelessly dedicated to those around her.

North Shore Congregation Israel, where she worked as a special-events coordinator, said in a statement that Sundheim was a lifelong congregant and a cherished member of its staff for decades. “Jacki’s work, kindness and warmth touched us all, from her early days teaching at the Gates of Learning Preschool to guiding innumerable among us through life’s moments of joy and sorrow,” the statement said.

Sundheim leaves behind her husband, Bruce, daughter Leah, sister Tracy and niece Becca, the synagogue’s senior rabbi, Wendi Geffen, said in a letter to congregants. “Due to this immense loss, all programs, classes and meetings at NSCI for tomorrow will be canceled,” she said.

In the coming days, David Toledo said, he and his family will focus on coming together, checking in on one another and planning his grandfather’s funeral.

They might also go to Fox Lake to catch fish to fry for a family meal — something his grandfather would have liked, he said.

David Toledo said he is unsure whether the family will feel safe attending future parades.

“This is such a horrible memory, so I don’t know if we’ll go back,” he said.

Annabelle Timsit contributed to this report.





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