What orphaned boy told grandfather after both parents were killed in Highland Park shooting

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By stefan armitage

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The grandfather of a two-year-old boy orphan who lost both of his parents in the July 4 Highland Park shooting has spoken out about his grandson's first comments after the attack.

Last week, 35-year-old Irina McCarthy and 37-year-old Kevin McCarthy took their two-year-old son, Aiden, to watch the Fourth of July celebrations in Highland Park, Illinois.

However, as crowds gathered along Central Avenue to watch the Independence Day parade, a gunman opened fire on the crowd shortly after 10:00AM.

The shooter was positioned on a nearby rooftop and shot "randomly" into the crowd.

[[imagecaption|| Credit: Tribune Content Agency LLC / Alamy]]

Dozens of people were injured in the attack, and seven people tragically lost their lives. Two of those killed were Irina and Kevin McCarthy.

Aiden’s paternal grandmother Margo McCarthy, had also joined the family for the day's celebrations. She was left seriously injured after being struck in the neck and an ear by a bullet.

Fortunately, young Aiden was not injured in the attack, with PEOPLE reporting that dad Kevin used his body to shield his son from danger. CBS Chicago adds that a bystander grabbed the little boy in an effort to remove him from the chaos, and Aiden was eventually handed off to another family.

Over the next few hours, Aiden's picture was circulated across social media in an effort to reunite him with family members.

Before the end of the day, Aiden was reunited with his grandfather, Michael Levberg, who was in another part of the city when he learned about the tragic events at the parade.

Speaking to the Chicago Sun-Times, Levberg recalled the moment he saw Aiden's image being circulated online. "A neighbor passed by, she showed me the picture, it was Aiden," he said. "I picked him up at the police station."

After being reunited with his grandson, Levberg revealed that Aiden looked at him and said: "Mommy and Daddy are coming soon."

After news of Aiden's story broke, a GoFundMe was set up by Irina Colon, who reportedly organized the fundraiser page with the family's permission.

[[imagecaption|| Credit: GoFundMe]]

In its description, Colon writes: "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."

Colon adds: "At two years old, Aiden is left in the unthinkable position; to grow up without his parents.

"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."

She adds that the fundraiser was started in order to help support Aiden and his future caregivers, "who will be tasked with raising, caring for, and supporting Aiden as he and his support system embark on this unexpected journey."

As of this writing, more than $3.1 million has been raised for Aiden.

In an update, Colon thanked everybody who had donated, adding: "The family of Aiden would like everyone to know that he is being loved and spoiled by all those who are close to him.

"We will be keeping this GoFundMe open as we have heard from many around the world that this is providing some form of healing for such a senseless act. No one should ever have to endure this kind of loss especially at such a young age.

"Every cent of this GoFundMe will go to the care of Aiden and his future. We are all extremely grateful and overwhelmed by the outpouring of love from across the entire world."

Colon added that the family plans on recording all the comments from well-wishers in a book, so Aiden knows just how much he is loved.

Our thoughts continue to go out to everybody affected by this tragedy.

Featured image credit: Xinhua / Alamy

What orphaned boy told grandfather after both parents were killed in Highland Park shooting

vt-author-image

By stefan armitage

Article saved!Article saved!

The grandfather of a two-year-old boy orphan who lost both of his parents in the July 4 Highland Park shooting has spoken out about his grandson's first comments after the attack.

Last week, 35-year-old Irina McCarthy and 37-year-old Kevin McCarthy took their two-year-old son, Aiden, to watch the Fourth of July celebrations in Highland Park, Illinois.

However, as crowds gathered along Central Avenue to watch the Independence Day parade, a gunman opened fire on the crowd shortly after 10:00AM.

The shooter was positioned on a nearby rooftop and shot "randomly" into the crowd.

[[imagecaption|| Credit: Tribune Content Agency LLC / Alamy]]

Dozens of people were injured in the attack, and seven people tragically lost their lives. Two of those killed were Irina and Kevin McCarthy.

Aiden’s paternal grandmother Margo McCarthy, had also joined the family for the day's celebrations. She was left seriously injured after being struck in the neck and an ear by a bullet.

Fortunately, young Aiden was not injured in the attack, with PEOPLE reporting that dad Kevin used his body to shield his son from danger. CBS Chicago adds that a bystander grabbed the little boy in an effort to remove him from the chaos, and Aiden was eventually handed off to another family.

Over the next few hours, Aiden's picture was circulated across social media in an effort to reunite him with family members.

Before the end of the day, Aiden was reunited with his grandfather, Michael Levberg, who was in another part of the city when he learned about the tragic events at the parade.

Speaking to the Chicago Sun-Times, Levberg recalled the moment he saw Aiden's image being circulated online. "A neighbor passed by, she showed me the picture, it was Aiden," he said. "I picked him up at the police station."

After being reunited with his grandson, Levberg revealed that Aiden looked at him and said: "Mommy and Daddy are coming soon."

After news of Aiden's story broke, a GoFundMe was set up by Irina Colon, who reportedly organized the fundraiser page with the family's permission.

[[imagecaption|| Credit: GoFundMe]]

In its description, Colon writes: "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."

Colon adds: "At two years old, Aiden is left in the unthinkable position; to grow up without his parents.

"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."

She adds that the fundraiser was started in order to help support Aiden and his future caregivers, "who will be tasked with raising, caring for, and supporting Aiden as he and his support system embark on this unexpected journey."

As of this writing, more than $3.1 million has been raised for Aiden.

In an update, Colon thanked everybody who had donated, adding: "The family of Aiden would like everyone to know that he is being loved and spoiled by all those who are close to him.

"We will be keeping this GoFundMe open as we have heard from many around the world that this is providing some form of healing for such a senseless act. No one should ever have to endure this kind of loss especially at such a young age.

"Every cent of this GoFundMe will go to the care of Aiden and his future. We are all extremely grateful and overwhelmed by the outpouring of love from across the entire world."

Colon added that the family plans on recording all the comments from well-wishers in a book, so Aiden knows just how much he is loved.

Our thoughts continue to go out to everybody affected by this tragedy.

Featured image credit: Xinhua / Alamy