In light of Adam Toledo's death, Little Village parents speak on loss of young life in community

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A number of parents from the Little Village community are all too familiar with the pain of losing a loved one to gun violence. Amid the death of 13-year-old Adam Toledo, two mothers are speaking out about the young lives being taken in their community.

"Whoever Adam was, at the end of the day it's a 13-year-old boy shot and killed. That's it, that's it. Background no background, a 13-year-old boy shot and killed," said Maki Camacho, a social worker and leader of a support group for parents who have lost children to gun violence.

In the last few weeks, the Toledo family has joined a group of mothers, fathers, and siblings in Little Village who grieve the loss of a loved one taken by gun violence.

"It's just sad that our kids are taking, that they're taking our kids. Our kids should be free to be anywhere they want in our city, this is a beautiful city," said Catalina Andrade, a mother who lost her son last summer.

The life of Andrade's 18-year-old son Miguel Angel Rios was cut short nine months ago after he was shot during a robbery.

Andrade said she and several other families have formed a support group that meets weekly at La Villita Community Church.

"There is an immense need for families that have lost their loved ones, especially sons and daughters," said Camacho.

The social worker said she has counseled over 30 grieving parents at a time. She said the number of parents that are grieving the same loss shows how much of an issue gun violence is in the community.

For some, the suffering is made worse by the wait for justice. Maria Monroy's daughter, Angie Monroy, was shot and killed while walking home from work in 2019.

"Right now there has been no justice for my daughter and I'd like to know how long I'll have to wait to see justice," said Monroy.

Both mothers said they'll continue to share the memories of their children as they work to heal from their loss.

The support group has not yet been in contact with the Toledo family.
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