Monday, Sept. 25, 2023|
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Aiden McCarthy’s photo was shared across Chicago-area social media groups in the hours after the July 4 parade shooting in Highland Park, accompanied by pleas to help identify the 2-year-old who had been found at the scene bloodied and alone and to reunite him with his family.
On Tuesday, friends and authorities confirmed that the boy’s parents, Kevin McCarthy, 37, and Irina McCarthy, 35, were among seven people killed in the tragedy.
“At two years old, Aiden is left in the unthinkable position; to grow up without his parents,” wrote Irina Colon on a GoFundMe account she created for the family and Aiden, who was reunited with his grandparents Monday evening. Friends of the McCarthys said Irina’s parents would care for the boy going forward.
Four of other others who were killed were identified Tuesday as Katherine Goldstein, 64; Jacquelyn Sundheim, 63; Stephen Straus, 88; and Nicolas Toledo-Zaragoza, 78. Every victim was from Highland Park except for Toledo-Zaragoza, who was visiting family in the city from Morelos, Mexico. Officials haven’t yet identified the seventh victim.
Portraits of some of those who died began to emerge Tuesday as investigators continued to search for evidence in the shooting.
Irina McCarthy’s childhood friend, Angela Vella, described McCarthy as fun, personable and “somewhat of a tomboy” who still liked to dress up nicely.
“She definitely had her own style, which I always admired,” Vella said in a short interview.
Straus, a Chicago financial adviser, was one of the first observers at the parade and attended it every year, his grandchildren said.
Brothers Maxwell and Tobias Straus described their grandfather as a kind and active man who loved walking, biking and attending community events.
“The way he lived life, you’d think he was still middle-aged,” Maxwell Straus said in an interview.
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