A 2-year-old boy was found alive but orphaned after he was lifted from underneath the body of his father who was killed in the Highland Park parade massacre on Monday, while his mother was lying dead next to him. Aiden McCarthy lost both his parents, Kevin McCarthy, 37, and Irina McCarthy, 35, after being separated from them during Monday's mayhem.
A photograph of two-year-old Aiden McCarthy went viral in the aftermath of the incident, before he was reunited with his grandparents. The child was unharmed but is now an orphan. Seven innocent people were shot and killed during the chaos, including Kevin and Irina McCarthy.
Orphaned in No Time
Aiden McCarthy had gone to attend the 4th of July parade at Highland Park with his parents when he was separated after the alleged gunman Robert Crimo opened fire, resulting is chaos. Kevin was mortally wounded and so was his wife, Irina.
A couple named Dana and Greg Ring told CBS Chicago that they took Aiden in the midst of the ensuing chaos. They said they found him with a total stranger who was also in shock. The stranger found Aiden trapped under the body of his mortally wounded father, according to the Daily Beast.
"My boyfriend handed me this little boy and said he was underneath this father who was shot in the leg," Lauren Silva, 38, recalled. "They were trying to stop the bleeding, so I brought the boy downstairs into the garage."
"He kept asking if mom and dad are going to come back soon," she said.
Unfortunately, that didn't happen. Kevin McCarthy died from his injuries and Irina McCarthy was already lying dead next to him.
The couple Dana and Greg Ring then saw Lauren and took the child from her as she herself was in shock. "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.
"We took the little boy," Greg Ring said. "I put him in my arms." Greg Ring said he tried to search for Aiden's parents.
"And I saw the scene," he said.
"Carnage," added Dana Ring.
It is not known what would have happened to Aiden had Silva not been there. Silva, her boyfriend and his son were heading toward a restaurant in that area for breakfast when they heard gunshots.
Silva told the Daily Beast that they emerged from a parking lot a few blocks from the scene of the shooting as the violence started. "We were just opening the door to walk up the stairs and we heard it...boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom," she told the outlet. "And it sounded like someone was, like, pounding on the glass doors."
When Silva, her boyfriend, and his son started to run toward the injured people, her boyfriend abruptly thrusted the young boy into her arms. "My boyfriend handed me this little boy and said he was underneath this father who was shot in the leg," she told the Daily Beast.
"They were trying to stop the bleeding so I brought the boy downstairs into the garage."
Once inside the garage, she managed to wash the blood from him and clean up his cuts. She claimed he was only wearing one shoe and had blood all over his sock.
After waiting for 20 minutes, Silva emerged from the parking garage to check on the father but both Kevin McCarthy and Irina McCarthy were dead.
Just at that time Dana and Greg Ring spotted Silva and took Aiden from them. They eventually handed him over to the police after taking him to the hospital. He was eventually reunited with his grandparents.
Friends of Irina set up a GoFundMe page in the name of the child. The page has raised more than $1.2 million as of Tuesday night.
"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," the fundraiser states.
"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."
According to the campaign, Irina's parents Misha and Nina Levberg are currently taking care of the child.
The incident also left dozens of individuals wounded, Highland Park police reported on Tuesday. Robert "Bobby" Crimo III, a 21-year-old suspect, was arrested on Monday night, several hours after the incident. The suspect is thought to have shot around 70 rounds from the roof of a building that overlooked the parade route, according to investigators.