Kevin and Irina McCarthy’s lives tragically ended Monday after a shooter allegedly climbed to the rooftop of a Highland Park, Illinois, building and gunned down a crowd celebrating the July Fourth holiday. Their deaths left two-year-old Aiden orphaned.
Aiden was separated from his parents Kevin, 37, and Irina, 35, as dozens fled the chaotic scene while gunfire rained down on them. The parents were among the seven killed in the shooting. Just a day after the tragedy, a GoFundMe was set up for the orphaned toddler, and within four hours, it surpassed $1 million in donations.
“At two years old, Aiden is left in the unthinkable position; to grow up without his parents,” the GoFundMe page organized by Irina Colon states. “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.”
After Aiden was separated from his parents during the shooting, the two-year-old was taken by strangers Dana and Greg Ring, who had found him with another stranger who was in shock, CBS Chicago reported.
“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 explained.
The couple tried to locate Aiden’s parents but were unsuccessful, describing the scene as “carnage.” Dana and Greg then took the unharmed child to a fire station where a police detective later picked him up and placed him in the care of his grandparents at the hospital.
At the time of publishing, Aiden’s fundraiser had reached $1.3 million. The GoFundMe page says that the money will go toward helping “the caregivers who will be tasked with raising, caring for, and supporting Aiden as he and his support system embark on this unexpected journey.”