Cooper Roberts was one of the youngest victims of the mass shooting at Highland Park's Fourth of July parade earlier this week. The bullet that struck the boy's chest broke his spine.
Anthony Loizzi was a close friend and struggled to describe his condition.
He said, "He has had several surgeries since Monday. One of them was last night. Doctors were finally able close his stomach."
Roberts' mother was also wounded in her leg. His twin brother was also hit with shrapnel. Roberts, a sports enthusiast, is currently on a ventilator.
Loizzi stated that "it's going to a new normal" for him moving forward. "They don't know if he will be able walk again due to the severed spine cord."
Parts of the parade route were still frozen in place days after chaos broke out during the Fourth-of- July celebration. FBI agents loaded lawn chairs, strollers and other items into a UHaul on Thursday for a lost-and-found.
Larry Spatz knew Jacki Sundheim, the victim -- she was his daughter’s preschool teacher 20 years ago. Sundheim was his closest friend and confidant.
He said, "My daughter is devastated." We are supporting her, but also we are hurting. My wife and me, we are also hurting."
A memorial was also built near the massacre and adjacent to a Vietnam War Memorial on Thursday.
Highland Park is in a state of shock, but it remains strong. The students spent the day creating shirts that conveyed strength. They are part of the local group Service And Learning Together, aka SALT, which is a way for high school students to give back to their community.
Jagger Barnes, a high school student from the area, said, "Since that happened, we were like, what can we do?" "We had no choice but to act to heal ourselves and also to heal our community."