• Aiden McCarthy, 2, lost both his parents in the Highland Park parade shooting
  • Kevin McCarthy, 37, and Irina McCarthy, 35, were among the seven people killed
  • Aiden was found bloodied and lifted from underneath his father by strangers
  • Community members cared for Aiden until he could be reunited with family
  • He has been placed in the care of his grandparents, Misha and Nina Levberg
  • A GoFundMe account has raised over $1 million to help the Levbergs care for Aiden
  • At least seven people were killed and 47 people injured during the shooting
  • Shooter Robert Crimo has now been charged with seven counts of first-degree murder

A two year-old boy found bloodied and alone during the Highland Park shooting on and lifted from underneath his father is an orphan after both his parents were killed in the attack.

Aiden McCarthy lost his mother Irina McCarthy and father Kevin McCarthy after being separated from them during the chaos of Monday’s shooting.

Aiden was found by Lauren Silva, 38, and her boyfriend who said that the toddler kept asking ‘are mom and dad coming back soon?’

Aiden was unharmed and has been placed in the care of his grandparents, Misha and Nina Levebeg.

A GoFundMe page was established to help Aiden’s family with ‘raising, caring for and supporting’ him. The account had raised $1.8 million as of Wednesday morning at 03:00am Eastern time.

The largest donation in the last few hours is a $10,000 contribution from an anonymous source. Most of the other high contributors are also choosing to remain anonymous. The page has solicited more than 20,000 contributors.

At least seven people were killed and dozens more were injured after 21-year-old shooter Robert Crimo opened fire on the Independence Day parade with an AR-15 style weapon.

On Tuesday evening, Lake County State Attorney Eric Rinehart said Crimo had been charged with seven counts of first-degree murder. He said ‘dozens’ more charges would follow, and that he hopes to send Crimo to prison for life.

Aiden was kept safe during the tragic shooting by complete strangers, GoFundMe organizer Irina Colon revealed.

‘We took him to safety under tragic circumstances, came together to locate his grandparents, and prayed for the safety of his family,’ she wrote.

‘The North Shore community rallied to help a boy who we knew nothing about. Sadly, I need to share his name…Aiden McCarthy and he needs more of our help.’

‘Aiden is left in the unthinkable position; to grow up without his parents,’ she added.

Colon claimed Aiden has been placed in the care of his grandparents, Misha and Nina Levberg, but still faces a long journey 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 explained.

‘On behalf of his family, and with their permission, I am establishing this fundraiser to support him and the caregivers who will be tasked with raising, caring for, and supporting Aiden as he and his support system embark on this unexpected journey.’

Aiden was found by Lauren Silva, 38, of Deerfield, and her boyfriend after they heard gunshots as they were heading to breakfast at Walker Bros restaurant.

Silva told the Daily Beast they emerged from a parking garage a few blocks away from the shooting just as the violence began to unfold.

‘We were just opening the door to walk up the stairs and we heard it…boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom,’ she told the Beast. ‘And it sounded like someone was, like, pounding on the glass doors.’

Silva and her boyfriend and his son began running toward those who were injured, when suddenly, her boyfriend thrusted the little boy into her arms.

‘My boyfriend handed me this little boy and said he was underneath this father who was shot in the leg,’ she told the Beast. ‘They were trying to stop the bleeding so I brought the boy downstairs into the garage.’

Once inside the garage, she managed to clean out his scrapes and washed the blood off him. She said he was wearing one shoe and his sock was covered in blood.

‘He kept asking if mom and dad are going to come back soon,’ she said.

Silva reemerged from the parking garage after 20 minutes to see how the father was doing. She handed Aiden off to a family she was hunkering down in the garage with, who took him to the hospital and later handed him to police. He was eventually reunited with his grandparents.

Dana Ruder Ring, who was taking care of the child until 8 p.m., according to Fox 32 Chicago, posted the original photo of the boy to help identify him.

Silva, a mother of two, said she’s holding on to the memory of the ‘kid’s face and his touch and the sound of his voice.’

‘I feel like I want to hold on to, like, a little bit of emotion that I feel—which is telling that boy that his dad was going to come back,’ she said.

Six of the seven people killed in the Highland Park Fourth of July massacre were identified by authorities on Tuesday.

The victims include Steve Straus, 88; Katherine Baldstein, 64; Jacki Sondheim, 63; Nicholas Toledo Zaragoza, 78; and husband and wife Irina and Kevin McCarthy, 35 and 37.

The McCarthys leave behind a two-year-old son, Aiden, who was found wandering alone in the aftermath of the shooting.

The death toll rose to seven after one of the 47 injured died in hospital on Tuesday afternoon, a day after 22-year-old Robert Crimo opened fire on the parade in Highland Park, an affluent suburban city just north of Chicago. The injured count now stands at 46.

The release of most of the victims’ names comes after a doctor who rushed into the carnage described the shooting victims as being ‘blown up’ by the attacker’s high-powered weapon.

Dr. David Baum, a long time obstetrician in Highland Park, was attending the parade with his wife and children to watch his two-year-old grandson participate. When the shots rang out and others fled, he ran into the fray to try to help the victims.

In an interview with CNN, Baum described seeing victims with ‘wartime’ and ‘unspeakable’ injuries.

The gunman, Robert ‘Bobby’ Crimo, 21, has been taken into custody and is awaiting charges.

He began shooting with an AR-15 style weapon shortly after 10 a.m. from a rooftop along the parade route. Police said Tuesday that Crimo dressed as a woman to disguise himself and easily slipped into the crowd of panicked bystanders, evading law enforcement.

He was eventually arrested about eight hours after the shooting.

Video shot by a Sun-Times journalist after the gunfire rang out shows a band on a float continuing to play as people run past, screaming. A photo posted to social media appeared to show pools of blood near upturned chairs in downtown Highland Park.

Miles Zaremsky, who has lived in the neighborhood since the 1960s, said he witnessed the ‘carnage.’

‘The crowd started stampeding. I had never seen that before. I saw blood on people’s bodies. Two or three people looked deceased to me. It was absolutely disgusting and gut-wrenching and I was sick to my stomach.’

‘I did see a little boy [covered in blood] in his parents’ arms who looked [pale]. They were yelling for medics…It’s surreal, it’s like out of a science fiction but it is real.’

Gina Troiani and her son were lined up with his daycare class ready to walk onto the parade route when she heard a loud sound she believed to be fireworks – until she heard people yell about a shooter.

‘We just start running in the opposite direction,’ she told the Associated Press.

Her five-year-old son was riding his bike decorated with red and blue curled ribbons. He and other children in the group held small American flags.

The city said on its web site that the festivities were to include a children’s bike and pet parade. Troiani said she pushed her son’s bike, running through the neighborhood to get back to their car.

In a video that Troiani shot on her phone, some of the kids are visibly startled at the loud noise and scramble to the side of the road as a siren wails nearby.

‘It was just sort of chaos,’ she said. ‘There were people that got separated from their families, looking for them. Others just dropped their wagons, grabbed their kids and started running.’

Matt Phillip, director of a tasting room at Lynfred Winery, said he heard ‘what sounded like fireworks’ before seeing people ‘running down the street.’

‘We opened our doors so they could either seek shelter within our facility or exit through our back-alley door.’

He said about 30 people sheltered in the store for approximately 15 minutes.

Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker said in a tweet that he is ‘closely monitoring the situation in Highland Park’ and that Illinois State Police are assisting. The ISP said in an email that it was assisting in the response to an active shooter reported around 10:24 a.m.

The Lake County Sheriff´s Office said on Twitter that it is assisting Highland Park Police ‘with a shooting in the area of the Independence Day parade route.’

The sheriff’s office directed an AP reporter to contact Highland Park Police. The Police Department said no one was immediately available to comment.

Debbie Glickman, a Highland Park resident, said she was on a parade float with coworkers and the group was preparing to turn onto the main route when she saw people running from the area.

‘People started saying: “There’s a shooter, there’s a shooter, there’s a shooter,”‘ Glickman told the Associated Press. ‘So we just ran. We just ran. It’s like mass chaos down there.’

She didn’t hear any noises or see anyone who appeared to be injured.

‘I’m so freaked out,’ she said. ‘It’s just so sad.’

Highland Park shooter Bobby Crimo was questioned by police twice in 2019 including once after threatening to ‘kill everyone’ and another after he threatened suicide, but was never arrested.

Crimo is now in custody awaiting charges for the massacre yesterday. Police at first said he was not known to them but on Tuesday, they revealed he was interviewed twice by authorities.

The first was in April 2019 a week after he threatened to kill himself. The second was in September 2019, after he threatened to ‘kill everyone’ in his family.

Police recovered 16 knives, a dagger and sword from his home but he was not arrested.

Instead, he was able to turn 21 and buy two assault rifles in Illinois, along with three other types of gun. It remains unclear why the two previous incidents were not flagged when he legally purchased the weapons.

Chris Covelli of the Lake County Sheriff’s Office disclosed the prior incidents at a press conference on Tuesday afternoon.

In the April 2019 incident, ‘an individual contacted Highland Park department a week after learning of him attempting to suicide. It was a delayed report.

‘They responded to the residence, spoke to him, his parents and the matter was being handled with the mental health profession. There was no law enforcement action to be taken.

‘In September 2019, a family remember reported that he said he was going to “kill everyone” and that he had a collection of knives. They responded and took 16 knives and a dagger from his home.

‘There was no probable cause to arrest and no complaints assigned by the victims. They did notify the Illinois State Police.’

Prior to Monday’s shooting, Crimo is thought to have traveled recently to Madison, Wisconsin, nearly 150 miles from Highland Park.

Rabbi Yosef Schanowitz is quoted by the website as saying that he recognized the suspect from an incident that occurred in April 2022. The rabbi said: ‘During the last Passover holiday, that person entered the Chabad synagogue. We have an armed security guard sitting in front… I approached him and sternly asked him to leave as I noticed he was not a member of our community.’

In a separate interview with Forward.com, the congregation’s head of security Martin Blumenthal said of Crimo: ‘He was definitely sizing up the synagogue.’

Blumenthal said that Crimo was wearing all black clothes and black gloves ‘in the goth style.’ The head of security said that he checked Crimo’s backpack for weapons but didn’t find any.

He added: ‘He said his name was Bobby and he lived in the neighborhood. I watched him the whole time.’ Blumenthal added that Crimo then left on his bike.

Police have still not been able to determine a motive. Crimo is expected to be charged later today.

Six of the seven people that were killed in the shooting have been named. They are Steve Straus, 88; Katherine Baldstein, 64; Jacki Sondheim, 63; Nicholas Toledo Zaragoza, 78; and husband and wife Irina and Kevin McCarthy, 35 and 37.

The McCarthys leave behind a two-year-old son, Aiden, who was found wandering alone in the aftermath of the shooting.

After the attack Monday, he fled among frightened paradegoers, pretending to be one of the victims, and went to his mother’s house.

Police said they do not think she knew that he was the shooter when he asked her for her car. She gave it to him and he fled the area.

It comes as questions over the gunman’s motive, lifestyle and his obsession with the numbers 47 arise.

Crimo had a 47 tattoo on his cheek and the numbers are emblazoned on the side of a car.

The vehicle was left abandoned in the front yard of his home on Tuesday, after it was raided by FBI agents. Crimo also posted the number all over his social media accounts, where he also shared ominous rap videos that glamorized school shootings.

 

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