Roughly $2 million in donations have been raised for a two-year-old boy whose parents were killed in Monday’s mass shooting at a July 4 parade in Highland Park, Illinois.
The toddler, Aiden McCarthy, whose photo was shared on social media in the aftermath of the shooting, had been found at the scene alone.
Parade attendees Dana and Greg Ring told CBS News that they found Aiden with a stranger after the shooting and took him in.
The boy was picked up by a detective and reunited with his grandparents on Monday evening. And on Tuesday, authorities confirmed that his parents—Kevin McCarthy, 37, and Irina McCarthy, 35—were among the seven people killed in the shooting.
Since then, the community launched a GoFundMe for the child, and as of Wednesday morning, that campaign has raised nearly $2 million for the newly orphaned child.
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
The fundraiser’s organizer, Irina Colon, wrote on the page, saying, “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.”
Colon set up the fundraiser with the permission of Aiden’s family and placed the essential details on the page regarding the death of his parents.
More than 35,000 donations came through the page in less than 24 hours. And as of early Wednesday, the total raised was more than $1.95 million.
Jennifer Cooper-Dudovitz, one of the many donors, wrote, “Aiden….There are no words to express how sorry and heartbroken I am. Your life changed in an instant and you don’t even know what’s going on. You will be surrounded by love and I wish you the best life …you did not deserve this.”
Four other victims have been identified: Katherine Goldstein, 64; Jacquelyn Sundheim, 63; Stephen Straus, 88; and Nicolas Toledo-Zaragoza, 78.
The seventh victim has not yet been identified.
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