"At two years old, Aiden is left in the unthinkable position; to grow up without his parents."
Trigger Warning: This story contains details of gun violence that may be disturbing to readers.
2-year-old Aiden McCarthy is now an orphan, after Irina McCarthy, 35, and Kevin McCarthy, 37, were shot dead by a gunman who opened fire from a rooftop, during a 4th of July parade in Highland Park, Illinois, according to CBS News.
The couple was separated from their son when the gunfire erupted. He was later found with a stranger who was also in shock due to the shooting. He was later taken by a couple, Dana and Greg Ring, amid the chaos.
"She was physically shaking, her whole body, which told us that ... she shouldn't be having to hold, and/or deal with a little one at the same time," Dana Ring said. Thankfully, the little boy was not hurt.
A 2-year-old boy was found bloodied and alone in the aftermath of the July 4 parade shooting in Highland Park, Illinois. Officials had hoped to reunite him with his family. Then they learned his parents were among those killed in the rampage. https://t.co/p2rRi3z6jg— The Associated Press (@AP) July 6, 2022
"We took the little boy," Greg Ring said. "I put him in my arms." The man then went around to look for Aiden's parents, but that's when they realized it was of no use. "And I saw the scene," he said. "Carnage," added Dana Ring.
Immediately, the couple took the little one to a fire station because they weren't sure what to do with him. Eventually, they took him to Dana Ring's parents' home where he played with the couple's children, adds CBS Chicago.
He was later reunited with his grandparents at a hospital by a Highland Park police detective.
Remember this little boy found wandering alone after #HighlandPark parade? We’ve just found out why… both his parents were killed💔— Marissa Parra (@MarParNews) July 5, 2022
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
A GoFundMe page was created to raise money to support Aiden. "In the aftermath of the Highland Park, IL shootings on July 4, the North Shore community rallied to help a boy who we knew nothing about. We took him to safety under tragic circumstances, came together to locate his grandparents, and prayed for the safety of his family," Irina Colon, the fundraiser's organizer shared.
"Sadly, I need to share his name…Aiden McCarthy. And he needs more of our help. His parents Irina & Kevin were killed during the July 4 shooting. At two years old, Aiden is left in the unthinkable position; to grow up without his parents."
Colon also shared that "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."
Both parents of a 2-year-old were killed in Fourth of July parade in Highland Park. Kevin McCarthy, 37, and Irina McCarthy, 35, were separated from their son, Aiden, during the chaos. He will be raised by his grandparents. https://t.co/EUttS6Cj0B— Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) July 5, 2022
The McCarthys were among seven people killed in the mass shooting, with dozens of others injured, per NBC Chicago. Latest updates show that after being apprehended, the suspect was charged with seven counts of first-degree murder in connection with the shooting, with more charges to follow.
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Photo by Jim Vondruska