The parents of a toddler found wandering alone in the aftermath of the Highland Park mass shooting at a Fourth of July parade were both killed during the massacre, Locale media have reported.
A picture of two year-old Aiden McCarthy went viral in the aftermath of the attack before he was reunited with his grandparents. But it has now been revealed that the child’s parents are both dead.
Kevin McCarthy, 37, and Irina McCarthy, 35, were both named as victims of the shooter who attacked the parade in the upmarket Chicago suburb, injuring dozens as as well as killing seven people.
Local television station CBS Chicago reported that a GoFundMe page had been set up to raise money for the child, Aiden McCarthy, who will now be raised by his grandparents.
“At two years old, Aiden is left in the unthinkable position; to grow up without his parents,” the page said.
CBS Chicago reported that the toddler was temporarily cared for by other people after being found alone following the deadly shooting. Dana and Greg Ring, a couple who helped take care of the child, described finding him in the arms of a stranger who appeared to be in shock.
“She was physically shaking, her whole body,” Dana Ring said in the interview with CBS. “Which told us that … she shouldn’t be having to hold and/or deal with a little one at the same time.”
“We took the little boy [e] I put him in my arms,” Ring added. He said he then went looking for the boy’s parents. The child was later reunited by law enforcement with his grandparents at a hospital.
The GoFundMe fundraiser for the McCarthys had raised more than $450,000 by Tuesday evening. The child is reportedly safe and uninjured. “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,” the fundraiser page said.