Nicolas Toledo, 76, didn’t want to attend the Highland Park July 4th parade, but his disabilities required that he be around someone full-time. And the family wasn’t going to skip the parade — even going so far as positioning chairs for a choice viewing spot at midnight the night before.
Mr. Toledo was sitting in his wheelchair along the parade route, between his son and a nephew, when the bullets started flying. “We were all in shock,” Xochil Toledo, his granddaughter, said. “We thought it was part of the parade.”
Then, she said, “We realized our grandfather was hit. We saw blood and everything splattered onto us.”
Mr. Toledo suffered three gunshot wounds, killing him. His son and Ms. Toledo’s boyfriend were also shot, but their injuries were not life-threatening, the family said.
One of the six people killed at the parade on Monday was a Mexican national, according to Roberto Velasco Álvarez, the head of the Mexican Foreign Ministry’s North America unit. It was not immediately clear if that person was Mr. Toledo. His family said he held dual citizenship and migrated between the United States and Mexico throughout his life.
He had moved back to Highland Park a few months ago from Mexico at the urging of family members. He had been struck by a car while walking in Highland Park a few years ago in a prior stint living with family, and had a range of medical issues resulting from that accident.
“We brought him over here so he could have a better life,” Ms. Toledo said. “His sons wanted to take care of him and be more in his life, and then this tragedy happened.”