Aiden McCarthy, 2, was watching the parade in Highland Park, Ill this past July 4 when a gunman opened fire from a nearby rooftop, killing seven people and injuring dozens more.
And while thankfully, Aiden was not injured, the bullets did strike both of his parents, Irina and Kevin McCarthy.
Grandmother of 2-Year-Old Aiden McCarthy Whose Parents Were Killed In Highland Park Shooting Gives Heartbreaking Update on the Young Boy
Kevin used his body to shield his son from the bullets.
Reportedly, a bystander grabbed the little boy and handed him off to another family, who took care of Aiden for hours. His picture was shared on social media, where it went viral, according to a report from CBS Chicago.
And in another part of the city, Aiden’s grandfather Michael Levberg heard about what happened at the parade. Soon, he received some devastating news.
“A neighbor passed by, she showed me the picture, it was Aiden,” Levberg told the Chicago Sun-Times. “I picked him up at the police station.”
And when Levberg was reunited with his grandson, the boy looked at him and said, “Mommy and Daddy are coming soon.”
Levberg says that Kevin McCarthy died while shielding his son from the bullets. “He had Aiden under his body when he was shot,” he says.
And while authorities decide on the charges against the suspect, a community is lifting up Aiden.
A GoFundMe page was created to help Aiden’s “long road ahead” in the aftermath of the tragedy has now raised more than $2 million for the family.
“Aiden will be cared for by his loving grandparents, Misha and Nina Levberg, and he will have a long road ahead to heal, find stability, and ultimately navigate life as an orphan,” organizers wrote. “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.”
The suspected gunman, Robert “Bobby” Crimo III, was charged with seven counts of first-degree murder in the wake of Monday morning’s mass shooting in Highland Park, Illinois. More charges are expected, Lake County State’s Attorney Eric Rinehart said.
There will also be a criminal investigation into the culpability of his father as he sponsored his son’s application for a firearm owner identification card in 2019, state police said Wednesday.
Crimo, who appeared in court via Zoom for his first appearance Wednesday, showed no emotion as a prosecutor outlined the attack and read the victims’ names.
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