Blood-Smeared toddler now orphan after Highland Park shooting
The 2-year-old will be taken care of by family members
A toddler was discovered at the scene of the Highland Park shooting after both of his parents were killed, making him an orphan.
Kevin McCarthy, 37, and Irina McCarthy, 35, were both named as victims of the Highland Park shooter after he opened fire at an Independence Day parade in Chicago, Illinois. Their baby, two-year-old Aiden McCarthy, went viral after his images were shared on social media that showed him covered with blood.
He was not physically harmed in the attack.
One of the deceased couple's neighbours recognised images of Aiden online and showed them to his grandparents. They have since retrieved Aiden.
Remember this little boy found wandering alone after #HighlandPark parade? We’ve just found out why… both his parents were killed💔
A fundraiser has been started for Irina and Kevin McCarthy’s 2-yo son Aiden as he grows up without them
Link: https://t.co/qKc4mOVX2t @cbschicago pic.twitter.com/7fxYE3OoS4
— Marissa Parra (@MarParNews) July 5, 2022
There were numerous reports of various strangers taking care of Aiden throughout the ordeal. Lauren Silva, who was having breakfast nearby, told The Daily Beast that her boyfriend found the baby lying beneath his father, who had been badly shot in the leg.
"He kept asking if Mom and Dad are going to come back soon," she said.
Another couple, Greg and Dana Ring, told WGN-TV that they initially saw a woman carrying a blood-soaked boy in her arms.
"They said, 'Can you take care of the little boy?' We said, 'Of course,' we took him back to our in-laws' and he just stayed and watched cartoons with our in-laws," Greg Ring explained. "And then we were told the latest that a detective came and took care of the little boy and he has been reunited with his grandparents, that's all we know."
Members of the community, headed up by Angela Vella, have fundraised an enormous amount of money for Aiden. Many of the donators went to school with Irina McCarthy, describing her as a "fun person."
"It is with incredible sadness that I am making this post. My dear friend [Irina] (formally Levburg) McCarthy and her husband were killed in the shooting," Vella wrote on Facebook. "My stomach is in knots. I can't believe this has happened. Irina was such a fun person with a genuine soul," she added.
A friend took his kids to July 4th Parade in Highland Park today. His son has special needs.
When shots rang out, they ran for their lives, the dad pushing his grown son's wheelchair--which at one point tumbled over.
On America's day, what has become a sickeningly American story.
— David Axelrod (@davidaxelrod) July 4, 2022
The fundraiser description continues: "At two years old, Aiden is left in the unthinkable position; to grow up without his parents."
"Aiden will be cared for by his loving family and he will have a long road ahead to heal, find stability, and ultimately navigate life as an orphan.
"He is surrounded by a community of friends and extended family that will embrace him with love, and any means available to ensure he has everything he needs as he grows."
At the time of writing, the GoFundMe has raised $1,827,530.
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