WAUKEGAN, Ill. – Friends, neighbors and dignitaries paid their respects Saturday to the family of Eduardo Uvaldo, one of the seven people who were killed in the attack on a July Fourth parade near Chicago.
Uvaldo, who would have turned 70 on Friday, was a native of Mexico who first moved to the United States when he was 15. In an obituary, he was remembered for his love of his large family — he was survived by his wife, Maria, four daughters, four siblings, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
“He was funny, charming, handsome, caring, and most importantly loving,” his obituary read. “His presence brought happiness to each family member.”
Outside the visitation at The Memorial Chapel of Waukegan, attendee Lilia Cervantes told reporters that she had known Uvaldo for 20 years and had worked with him for 11 years.
“It’s a very difficult time for family and co-workers,” she said in Spanish. “He was very kind.”
Uvaldo’s wife and 13-year-old grandson, Brian Franco Hogan, were wounded in the attack and are still recovering, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
Relative Jesse Palacios attended the private service and called Uvaldo “a happy man,” the newspaper reported.
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen him sad,” Palacios said.
Among those who paid their respects Saturday were Gov. J.B. Pritzker, Lieutenant Gov. Juliana Stratton, Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering and Highland Park's police chief, Lou Jogmen.
Uvaldo died Wednesday at an Evanston hospital from wounds suffered during the attack on the parade.
Separate funerals were held Friday for three of the other victims — 63-year-old Jacquelyn Sundheim, 88-year-old Stephen Straus and 78-year-old Nicolas Toledo-Zaragoza, who, like Uvaldo, was from Waukegan, a city north of Highland Park along the Lake Michigan coast.
Funeral details for the others killed in the attack haven't been made public. Authorities have identified them as 64-year-old Katherine “Katie” Goldstein and a married couple, 35-year-old Irina McCarthy and 37-year-old Kevin McCarthy, who were attending the parade with their 2-year-old son.
Police say the victims were shot at random and that the assailant had no racial or religious motivation.
“This is what I can’t understand: how this keeps happening,” Palacios said, referring to mass shootings in the U.S.
His sister, Ophelia Palacios, said she wonders “what was running through” the shooter's mind.
“Why did he do it?” she asked.
Robert E. Crimo III has been charged with seven counts of first-degree murder. Prosecutors expect to bring more charges representing the more than 30 people were wounded in the attack.
Investigators have said Crimo, of neighboring Highwood, legally purchased five weapons and planned the attack for weeks before he climbed onto the roof of a business along the parade route and opened fire with a semi-automatic rifle.
Investigators reported that Crimo fled the parade by blending in with the fleeing crowd, then drove to the Madison, Wisconsin, area, where he contemplated a second attack. He returned to the Highland Park area and his car was spotted by police.
Questions remain about whether Crimo should have been able to legally purchase firearms in Illinois. Illinois State Police officials have defended the approval of his gun license in December 2019, months after police received reports that he had made suicidal and violent threats.