Highland Park shooting: Second victim identified as synagogue worker Jacki Sundheim

The second victim of the July 4 parade shooting that left at least six people dead and 38 injured in Highland Park, Illinois, was identified as a synagogue worker by her local congregation.

Jacki Sundheim, a teacher and events coordinator at the North Shore Congregation Israel in Highland Park, was killed in the brazen Independence Day shooting in the city north of Chicago on Monday, leaders of her synagogue confirmed.

Highland Park police later arrested 22-year-old Robert E Crimo after he was named as a person of interest in the mass shooting that sent hundreds of parade-goers fleeing for safety. On Tuesday, Mr Crimo was charged with murder.

Ms Sundheim’s death was first confirmed in an email sent out to congregants by the synagogue on Monday night, and later on social media as relatives shared posts commemorating a woman described as being “one of the kindest” they’d ever met.

Her nephew, Luke Sundheim, wrote about how he’d received a call about her death, and emphasized how it was a conversation that he hopes no one else has the misfortune of experiencing.

‘Jacki was a lifelong congregant of NSCI and a cherished member of NSCI’s staff team for decades,’ the synagogue said in an email to congregants


“If you know me you know that the 4th of July is one of my favorite holidays. Today as my family was enjoying the Winnetka 4th of July parade I got a phone call that I hope none of you ever receive. My aunt Jacki was senselessly gunned down watching a parade that’s she’s been to her entire life de ella just two towns north, ”Mr Sundheim wrote on Facebook, noting that his aunt de ella left behind a daughter and husband who she shared“ endless love ” for.

“If you knew Jacki you’d know that she was one of the kindest people you’d ever meet and she went out of her way to help anyone,” he wrote. “The world lost a truly special person and I’m both furious and incredibly sad that I won’t be able to spend any more time with her. I love America, but this can not keep happening to innocent loving people.”

NSCI remembered their “lifelong congregant” as a “cherished member” of the team over the past few decades: “Jacki’s work, kindness and warmth touched us all.”

“There are no words sufficient to express the depth of our grief for Jacki’s death,” the synagogue wrote in their emailed statement. The deceased is survived by her husband, Bruce, and daughter, Leah, the email noted.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry reportedly received information on Monday alerting that there had been Jewish casualties in the mass shooting along the parade route, according to The Times of Israelwhich reported that the suburb hosts at least 30,000 Jewish residents, making up at least at third of the population.

Roberto Velasco, Mexico’s director for North American affairs, said on Twitter Monday that one of the victims killed in the attack had been confirmed as a Mexican national, adding that two other Mexican nationals were injured.

Family members of Nicolas Toledo, 78, later confirmed to CBS Chicago that he was one of the individuals killed in the shooting.

Members of Mr Toledo’s family spoke with reporter Tim McNicholas of CBS Chicago and said that the father of eight and grandfather, who had only arrived in the US two months prior to visit with relatives after being forced to stay apart throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, had died while attending the annual Independence Day parade.

“We are all feeling pretty numb. We’re all pretty broken inside,” his granddaughter said.

The suspected shooter reportedly staked out a spot on a rooftop along the parade route which is typically seen as one of the prime viewing locations for the annual celebration.

The identities of the remaining victims have yet to be released by authorities.


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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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