(NewsNation) — Friday marks the first day of funerals for the victims of the Highland Park, Illinois shooting where a gunman killed seven at a Fourth of July parade.
Three of the seven victims are being laid to rest as the wounded start to recover. They are Jacquelyn Sundheim, 63, who worked at a nearby synagogue for decades teaching preschoolers and leading Bar Mitzvah ceremonies; Steven Straus, an 88-year-old who liked to stay active in the community, and Nicolas Toledo-Zaragoza, 78, a grandfather whose family was hoping he would move home permanently.
An 8-year-old boy injured in the shooting remains in critical condition. Cooper Roberts was shot in the chest and the bullet then severed his spinal cord, doctors say. He is expected to recover.
“He’s undergone several surgeries since Monday, including one last night during which doctors were finally able to close up his belly,” Anthony Loizzi, spokesman for the Roberts family, said.
Roberts’ mother and twin brother were grazed by shrapnel in the shooting.
Robert Crimo III, 21, was charged with seven counts of first-degree murder in connection with the shooting. Multiple other charges are expected as well, according to Lake County State’s Attorney Eric Rinehart.
Some in the community are calling for the suspect’s father to face charges as well.
Robert Crimo III was already known to authorities, after he attempted suicide in April 2019. Five months later, he threatened to “kill everyone” in the home. Despite this, his father, Robert Crimo, Jr., still helped him get a gun permit in 2019 by sponsoring the license.
Robert Crimo, Jr. told the New York Post this week that the threats his son made against the family were just a “childish outburst” and denied any responsibility for his son’s actions.
Police are still investigating the motive for the attack.
If you or someone you know is thinking of harming themselves, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides free support at 1-800-273-8255. Starting on July 16, 2022, U.S. residents can also be connected to the Lifeline by dialing 988. For more about risk factors and warning signs, visit the organization’s official website.