Adam Toledo remembered as child with ‘large creativeness’ and an affinity for reveals about zombies

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Adam Toledo’s mother didn’t attend a vigil for her 13-year-old son Monday night because she didn’t feel ready, but she sent a statement that was read to about 150 people with white balloons.

“He’s had a great imagination and curiosity since he was a little baby. He was goofy and always joking and making everyone laugh. He loved animals and rode a bicycle, ”said Elizabeth Toledo in the statement.

“Adam really liked zombies. And the zombie apocalypse. He even had that zombie apocalypse bag packed and ready to go. Some of his favorite movies and TV shows were “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs,” “Ghostbusters,” “SpongeBob SquarePants,” “Toy Story,” “Cars,” “The Walking Dead,” she said.

His palate preferred taco bell, pizza, chicken wings, fries, and candy, she said.

“May he rest in peace,” she said.

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  • Dozens of people release balloons during a vigil for 13-year-old Adam Toledo near the location of the shooting on West 24th Street and South Sawyer Avenue in Little Village on Monday afternoon, April 5, 2021. Toledo was fatally shot in the chest by Toledo a Chicago police officer in an alley west of the 2,300 block of South Sawyer Avenue near Farragut Career Academy High School.

    Ashlee Rezin Garcia / Sun-Times


  • On Monday afternoon, April 5, 2021, people gather for a vigil for 13-year-old Adam Toledo near the shooting on West 24th Street and South Sawyer Avenue in Little Village. Toledo was fatally shot in the chest by a Chicago police officer in an alley west of the 2,300 block of South Sawyer Avenue near Farragut Career Academy High School.

    Ashlee Rezin Garcia / Sun-Times


  • On Monday afternoon, April 5, 2021, people gather for a vigil for 13-year-old Adam Toledo near the shooting on West 24th Street and South Sawyer Avenue in Little Village. Toledo was fatally shot in the chest by a Chicago police officer in an alley west of the 2,300 block of South Sawyer Avenue near Farragut Career Academy High School.

    Ashlee Rezin Garcia / Sun-Times


  • Rosie Cisneros, 26, of Gage Park, meets with dozens on Monday afternoon, April 5, 2021, for a vigil for 13-year-old Adam Toledo near the shooting on West 24th Street and South Sawyer Avenue in Little Village Fatally shot in the chest by a Chicago police officer in an alley west of the 2,300 block of South Sawyer Avenue near Farragut Career Academy High School.

    Ashlee Rezin Garcia / Sun-Times


  • On Monday afternoon, April 5, 2021, people gather for a vigil for 13-year-old Adam Toledo near the shooting on West 24th Street and South Sawyer Avenue in Little Village. Toledo was fatally shot in the chest by a Chicago police officer in an alley west of the 2,300 block of South Sawyer Avenue near Farragut Career Academy High School.

    Ashlee Rezin Garcia / Sun-Times


  • Ana Solano, 26, of Little Village, meets with dozens on Monday afternoon, April 5, 2021 for a vigil for 13-year-old Adam Toledo near the shooting on West 24th Street and South Sawyer Avenue in Little Village Fatally shot in the chest by a Chicago police officer in an alley west of the 2,300 block of South Sawyer Avenue near Farragut Career Academy High School.

    Ashlee Rezin Garcia / Sun-Times


  • On Monday afternoon, April 5, 2021, people gather for a vigil for 13-year-old Adam Toledo near the shooting on West 24th Street and South Sawyer Avenue in Little Village. Toledo was fatally shot in the chest by a Chicago police officer in an alley west of the 2,300 block of South Sawyer Avenue near Farragut Career Academy High School.

    Ashlee Rezin Garcia / Sun-Times


  • On Monday afternoon, April 5, 2021, people gather for a vigil for 13-year-old Adam Toledo near the shooting on West 24th Street and South Sawyer Avenue in Little Village. Toledo was fatally shot in the chest by a Chicago police officer in an alley west of the 2,300 block of South Sawyer Avenue near Farragut Career Academy High School.

    Ashlee Rezin Garcia / Sun-Times


  • On Monday afternoon, April 5, 2021, people gather for a vigil for 13-year-old Adam Toledo near the shooting on West 24th Street and South Sawyer Avenue in Little Village. Toledo was fatally shot in the chest by a Chicago police officer in an alley west of the 2,300 block of South Sawyer Avenue near Farragut Career Academy High School.

    Ashlee Rezin Garcia / Sun-Times


  • Dozens of people release balloons during a vigil for 13-year-old Adam Toledo near the location of the shooting on West 24th Street and South Sawyer Avenue in Little Village on Monday afternoon, April 5, 2021. Toledo was fatally shot in the chest by Toledo a Chicago police officer in an alley west of the 2,300 block of South Sawyer Avenue near Farragut Career Academy High School.

    Ashlee Rezin Garcia / Sun-Times


  • A memorial to 13-year-old Adam Toledo is located near the location of the shooting on West 24th Street and South Sawyer Avenue in Little Village on Monday afternoon, April 5, 2021. Toledo was fatally in the chest by a Chicago police officer shot One alley west of the 2300 block of South Sawyer Avenue near Farragut Career Academy High School.

    Ashlee Rezin Garcia / Sun-Times

The statement was read by Jacqueline Herrera, director of violence prevention for the Little Village-based community organization Enlace Chicago. Hundreds of white balloons were released moments later.

Toledo was shot dead by Chicago police in an alley on the 2400 block on South Sawyer Avenue at around 2:00 am on March 29 in what the police called an “armed confrontation”.

Ald. George Cardenas (12th) said of Toledo: “This young man had no one. It’s sad to say. No one to help him except a gang. So be ashamed of us. That belongs to me. ”

In a separate statement released Monday by a lawyer, the Toledo family, in an apparent rebuttal of Cardenas’ comments, stated that they wanted to “correct the hurtful and misrepresentation of Adam as a lonely child on the street that no one turns to could. ”

The statement went on, “This is just not true. Adam was a loved and supported 13 year old boy. He lived with his mother, 90-year-old grandfather and two siblings. His father was in his life. They all loved him very much. The Toledo family is a close-knit family. They take care of each other. Adam attended Gary Elementary School, where he had the support of his teachers and classmates. Adam wasn’t alone. “

On Monday, Mayor Lori Lightfoot compared gang members who persecute the city’s youth to wolves.

“Like good shepherds, we must take better care of our flocks to keep the wolves at bay,” she said.

Micaela Cruz, 35, attended the vigil on Monday, saying that gangs are a sad reality in Little Village that some children cannot escape because they know nothing else.

“They need therapy, that’s life for them,” said Cruz, who works as an Uber driver. “It’s messed up,” she said.

Matt DeMateo, pastor of New Life Community Church, organized the vigil with Enlace Chicago.

“We are calling for justice for Adam, his life was taken too soon,” DeMateo said.