/  07.05.2022

One of the victims in the mass shooting that took place in Chicago’s Highland Park on Monday (July 4) was attempting to shield his family from gunfire, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. Nicolas Toledo was a 76-year-old grandfather and father of eight.

“We are all feeling pretty numb,” Kimberly Rangel, one of Toledo’s grandchildren, told CBS News. “We’re all pretty broken inside.” She revealed that her mother could hardly speak when sharing the news over a phone call.

According to Toledo’s family, he had been visiting family in the area for a little under a month. After suffering physical ailments following an accident where he was struck by a car a few years ago, they were urging him to live in the states permanently.

Another granddaughter revealed Toledo was hit by three bullets that could have hit any other family members attending the parade. “He was the one who saved all of our lives,” Xochil Toledo explained. “It would have gone to me, my boyfriend or my cousins.”

Xochil also shared that her father was struck in the arm after attempting to shield Toledo from the gunfire. He, along with a cousin, stayed with their loved one until he passed away at the scene.

As previously reported by REVOLT, there have been at least seven people who have died following the tragedy. A gunman, who authorities believe planned the attack for weeks, has been detained and is currently in custody.

Relatives explained that Toledo was not going to attend the parade, initially, because he often found it hard to move his walker among large crowds. However, Xochil says that her grandfather was “happy to be living in the moment.”

“He never wanted to be inside,” she expressed. “He always wanted to be outside.” She also says that the family is still in shock and “couldn’t believe all that had happened.”

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