Parents killed in Chicago July 4 parade shooting leave toddler an orphan

Irina and Kevin McCarthy were both killed in the Highland Park parade shooting. Credit: GoFundMe

A toddler found wandering bloodied and alone after the July 4 mass shooting in the US has been left an orphan after his parents were among the seven killed in the tragedy.

After a social media appeal to find two-year-old Aiden McCarthy’s parents, friends and authorities have confirmed that Kevin McCarthy, 37, and Irina McCarthy, 35, have died.

Friends of the McCarthys said Irina’s parents would care for the boy going forward.

“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, which has topped £1.5 million.

Robert E Crimo III, 21, was charged on Tuesday with seven counts of murder after firing off more than 70 rounds at an Independence Day parade in Highland Park, suburban Chicago.

A seventh person died of their injuries on the same day.

Ms McCarthy's childhood friend, Angela Vella, described her 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,” Ms Vella said in a short interview.

Four of other others who were killed were identified on Tuesday as:

  • Katherine Goldstein, 64

  • Jacquelyn Sundheim, 63

  • Stephen Straus, 88

  • Nicolas Toledo-Zaragoza, 78

Every victim was from Highland Park except for Mr Toledo-Zaragoza, who was visiting family in the city from Morelos, Mexico.

Officials haven't yet identified the seventh victim.

Brooke and Matt Strauss, who were married on Sunday, pause after leaving their wedding bouquets in downtown Highland Park. Credit: AP

Portraits of some of those who died began to emerge Tuesday as investigators continued to search for evidence in the shooting that also wounded 30.

Mr 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 said in an interview.

The two brothers recalled Sunday night dinners with their grandparents as a favourite tradition. They said they ate with him the night before he was killed.

“America’s gun culture is killing grandparents,” said Maxwell. “It’s just very terrible.”

This was the moment Robert Crimo was found and stopped by police, as Emma Murphy reports

Ms Sundheim, meanwhile, was regaled as a lifelong congregant and “beloved” staff member at North Shore Congregation Israel, where she had worked for decades, the Reform synagogue said on its website.

She taught at the synagogue’s preschool and coordinated events including bar and bat mitzvah ceremonies.

“Jacki’s work, kindness and warmth touched us all,” synagogue leaders wrote in a message on their website.

“There are no words sufficient to express the depth of our grief for Jacki’s death and sympathy for her family and loved ones.”

Mr Toledo-Zaragoza was killed on what his 23-year-old granddaughter, Xochil Toledo, said was supposed to be a “fun family day” that “turned into a horrific nightmare for us all.”

On a GoFundMe page to raise money for Mr Toledo’s funeral expenses, Xochil said her grandfather was a “loving man, creative, adventurous and funny.”

“As a family we are broken, numb,” she said.

Nicolas Toledo was named as one of the victims of the attack by his family. Credit: GoFundMe

Mr Toledo-Zaragoza had come to Illinois to visit his family about two months ago, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

His family wanted him to stay permanently because of injuries he had suffered after being hit by a car a couple years ago during an earlier visit to Highland Park.

The newspaper reported that he was hit by three bullets on Monday and died at the scene.

He wasn't sure he wanted to attend the parade because of the large crowds and his limited mobility, which required him to use a walker, but Xochil said the family didn't want to leave him alone.

Katherine Goldstein's husband described her as an easy-going travel companion who was always game to visit far-flung locales.

A police officer holds up police tape at the scene of a mass shooting at the Highland Park Fourth of July parade. Credit: AP

“She didn't complain,” Craig Goldstein told The New York Times. “She was always along for the ride.”

Ms Goldstein was a mother of two daughters in their early 20s, Cassie and Alana.

She attended the parade with her older daughter so that Cassie could reunite with friends from high school, Craig, a doctor, told the newspaper.

Dr Goldstein said his wife had recently lost her mother and had given thought to what kind of arrangements she might want when she dies.

He recalled that Katherine, an avid bird watcher, said she wanted to be cremated and to have her remains scattered in the Montrose Beach area of Chicago, where there is a bird sanctuary.