The 76-year-old grandfather, who saved his family and himself was killed by gunfire in the 4th of July parade
A beloved grandfather and father of eight has been identified as one of the victims of the July 4th mass shooting in Highland Park, Illinois.
Nicolas Toledo, 76, suffered three gunshot wounds when the gunman opened fire in the central district of Highland Park on Monday morning, sending hundreds of people running in terror.
"We were all in shock," his granddaughter Xochil Toledo told The New York Times on Monday, adding that she initially thought the bullets were part of the parade.
"We realized when our grandfather was hit. We saw blood and it all splashed on us,” she added.
Xochil told the Chicago Sun Times that Nicolas, who had been visiting his family from Mexico, was happy to be joining them in the moment during the Fourth of July parade before the shooting happened.
"He was the one who saved all of our lives", she added about the fact that her grandfather took three bullets aimed at the family. "They would have come to me, to my boyfriend, or to my cousins."
Nicolas' other granddaughter, Kimberly Rangel, also told CBS News Chicago that the family is devastated by her grandfather's tragic death.
"Hold your family as tight as you can while you still have them. We didn't expect this to happen so close to home and it did. And it's not just my family that has been affected. There are so many other families affected by this event and I just hope everyone holds the family tight tonight,” Rangel said.
According to the New York Times, Nicolas' son and Xochil's boyfriend were also hit during the shooting but survived with non-life-threatening injuries.
At least 24 people were injured and six were killed after a gunman opened fire in the central district of Highland Park on Monday morning.
Robert E. Crimo, 21, who went by the nickname "Bobby," was arrested near Lake Forest later in the day after being stopped by a North Chicago officer.
Law enforcement believes Robert Crimo legally purchased the high-powered rifle he used in the attack he had been planning for weeks.
The suspect is believed to have disguised himself in women's clothes to escape the Police.