After the Highland Park shooting, a toddler was left alone. Both of his parents had died.

Aiden McCarthy's photo was shared on Chicago-area social media networks within hours of the shooting at Highland Park July 4th parade.

06 July 2022 Wednesday 13:18
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After the Highland Park shooting, a toddler was left alone. Both of his parents had died.

Aiden McCarthy's photo was shared on Chicago-area social media networks within hours of the shooting at Highland Park July 4th parade. It was accompanied with pleas for help to identify the 2-year old boy who was found alone and bloodied on the spot and to reunite him and his family.

Friends and authorities confirmed on Tuesday that the tragedy had claimed seven lives.

Irina Colon wrote that Aiden was two years old and is now in an unimaginable situation. Aiden will have to live with his grandparents.

Friends of McCarthy said that Irina's parents would take care of the boy moving forward.

Tuesday's death of four others was confirmed by Jacquelyn Sonnenheim (63), Katherine Goldstein (64), Stephen Straus (88), and Nicolas Toledo-Zaragoza (78). Except for Toledo-Zaragoza who was visiting family from Morelos in Mexico, all victims were Highland Park residents.

Officials have not yet identified the seventh victim.

Tuesday saw portraits of some of the victims emerge as investigators continue to look for evidence in the shooting which left at least seven dead and injured 30.

Angela Vella, Irina McCarthy's childhood friend described McCarthy as friendly, fun and "somewhat of an tomboy" who liked dressing up well.

Vella stated in a brief interview that she admired Vella's unique style.

Straus, a Chicago financial advisor, was among the first to witness the parade, and he has been attending it each year since then, according to his grandchildren.

Brothers Maxwell Straus and Tobias Straus described their grandfather, as an active and kind man who enjoyed walking, biking, and attending community events.

Maxwell Straus stated in an interview that "the way he lived his life, you'd believe he was still middle age."

Two brothers shared their fond memories of Sunday dinners with grandparents on Sunday nights. They claimed that they had eaten with him on the night he died.

Maxwell Straus stated that "America's gun culture kills grandparents." It's absolutely terrible.

Sundheim was, however, remembered as a long-standing congregant and "beloved” staff member at North Shore Congregation Israel. She had been there for many decades, the Reform synagogue stated on its website. Sundheim was a teacher at the synagogue's preschool, and coordinated events such as bar and bat mitzvah celebrations.

In a message posted on their website, synagogue leaders said that Jacki's kindness, work and warmth had touched them all. "There are not enough words to express our deepest sorrow for Jacki's passing and our sympathy for her loved ones."

Toledo-Zaragoza died on what his 23 year-old granddaughter, Xochil Toledo said was supposed be a "fun day for the family" that turned into a "horrible nightmare for us all."

Xochil Toledo, a GoFundMe user, said that her grandfather was a "loving, creative, adventurous, and funny" man.

She said, "As a family, we are broken and numb."

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Toledo-Zaragoza arrived in Illinois about two months ago to visit his family. Because of the injuries he sustained after being struck by a car in Highland Park a few years back, his family requested that he stay permanently. According to the newspaper, he was struck by three bullets Monday morning and later died on the spot.

Because of the large crowds and his limited mobility, he wasn't sure if he wanted to go to the parade. However, Xochil Toledo stated that the family was not going to let him go.

Katherine Goldstein was described by her husband as an easygoing travel companion and always open to visiting far-flung locations.

Craig Goldstein said that "She didn’t complain" to The New York Times. "She was always there for the ride."

Goldstein was the mother of Cassie and Alana, both in their 20s. Craig Goldstein, a doctor at the hospital, said that Cassie went to the parade with her older child so she could reconnect with high school friends.

Dr. Goldstein stated that his wife had just lost her mother, and had thought about what arrangements she would want for her death.

He remembered that Katherine, an avid bird-watcher, wanted to be cremated, and her remains to be scattered in Montrose Beach, Chicago, where there's a bird sanctuary.



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