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Daughter who lost her mom in July 4th parade shooting recalls final moments

Cassie Goldstein was by her mother’s side when the celebration in Highland Park, Illinois, turned into a tragedy. 

What was meant to be a day of fun and celebration for the community of Highland Park, Illinois, ended in tragedy when a gunman shot into a crowded July Fourth parade, killing seven and injuring dozens more.

Katherine Goldstein, a 64-year-old wife and mother of two, was among the paradegoers in attendance, as was her 22-year-old daughter, Cassie Goldstein, who stood by her side at the event.

But only Cassie survived.

In an interview with NBC Nightly News’ Lester Holt on Tuesday, the young woman recalled the chaos when shots first rang out and opened up about her mother’s final moments.

Katie Goldstein with daughters Cassie and Alana.
Katherine Goldstein with her daughters, Alana and Cassie.Courtesy Goldstein family

"She was waving to the floats, every float that went by, she waved to them," Goldstein said of her mother that day. 

But then everything changed.

"I looked up, and I saw the shooter shooting down at the kids," she explained. "I told (mom) it was a shooter, and she had to run. So I started running with her, and we were next to each other."

Katie Goldstein with husband Craig.
Katherine Goldstein with husband Craig.Courtesy Goldstein family

Until, suddenly, her mother fell."He shot her in the chest," Goldstein said of the moment everything changed. "She fell down, and I knew she was dead. So I just told her I loved her, and I couldn’t stop because he was still shooting everyone next to me."

Amid her grief, as she faces a future without her mom, Goldstein now holds on to what she had.

"I got 22 years with her," she said, her voice cracking. "I got to have 22 years with the best mom in the world."   

On Tuesday, the Lake County Coroner’s Office released the names of six of the seven people who died Monday. In addition to Katherine Goldstein, they include Irina McCarthy, 35, Kevin McCarthy, 37, Jacquelyn Sundheim, 63, Stephen Straus, 88, and Nicolas Toledo-Zaragoza, 78.