Aiden McCarthy, 2, orphaned during parade shooting, was protected by her father as the wounded man lay dying

Kevin McCarthy, 37, and his wife, Irina, 35, were among seven people who died after an explosion of bullets Monday from a rooftop terrace into a vacation crowd in Highland Park, Illinois, the Lake County Coroner’s Office said. Nearly 40 others were injured.
Aiden was protected from the shot by Kevin’s body, even when the man was injured, Irina’s father and Aiden’s grandfather, Michael Levberg, told the Chicago Sun-Times.

Aiden “was pulled from the underside of his father, who was still bleeding, by Good Samaritans,” U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth, an Illinois Democrat, told CNN’s John Berman on Wednesday. “Then they went to work with his father because his father’s legs were still bleeding.”

McCarthys had been looking forward to watching the parade with their young child, Levberg told the Sun-Times.

“They were crazy about their child,” he said. “They had planned two.”

After the shots were fired, Aiden – a little boy, all alone – “walked the streets,” his grandfather told the Sun-Times. It is an image that others have taken and shared on social media.

A neighbor, Adrienne Rosenblatt, saw Aiden’s picture on a neighbor monitoring site and began trying to connect him with her grandparents, she told CNN-affiliated WLS.
Meanwhile, strangers trapped in the chaos cared for the toddler, according to a confirmed GoFundMe campaign launched by his mother’s cousin, Irina Colon, after the shooting.
Dana and Greg Ring spotted Aiden after the edifice of shots transformed the parade they had come to see, he told WLS. The couple tried to get him to the police.

“When we moved in, the police looked like they were getting ready for war,” Greg said. “I will never forget. I pulled up and I said, ‘This is not our child. This is not his blood; he’s okay. What are we going to do?’

“And the officer said, ‘We can not be babysitters now. Can you take care of him?’

“We said, ‘Of course.'”

What we know about the shooting in Highland Park
Aiden ended up at a police station where he was reunited with Levberg, the grandfather told the Chicago Tribune.

“When I picked him up, he said, ‘Mom and Dad are coming soon?'” Levberg said Tuesday. “He does not understand.”

“Two years old, Aiden is left in the unthinkable position; growing up without her parents,” the fundraising campaign said.

“Aiden will be cared for by his loving family and he will have a long way to go to heal, find stability and ultimately navigate life as an orphan,” it says. “He is surrounded by a community of friends and extended family who will embrace him with love and all available means to ensure he has everything he needs as he grows.”

More than $ 2 million had been raised Wednesday morning, according to the GoFundMe account, which will support the boy “and the caregivers tasked with raising, nurturing and supporting Aiden as he and his support system embark on this unexpected journey. “

So far, confronting a tormented reality may be the first step.

“I do not know how to tell him that,” Rosenblatt told the WLS. How do you tell a “boy that mom and dad are in heaven now?”

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