'Mommy, Daddy,' Said Toddler Who Was Orphaned at Parade Shooting

Aiden McCarthy's parents were both killed by gunman
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 6, 2022 12:00 AM CDT
Updated Jul 7, 2022 2:00 AM CDT
Toddler Found by Strangers Lost Both Parents in Highland Park Shooting
Members of the FBI's Evidence Response Team Unit investigate in downtown Highland Park, Ill., the day after a deadly mass shooting on Tuesday, July 5, 2022.   (Ashlee Rezin /Chicago Sun-Times via AP)

(Newser) Update: The AP has a more extensive interview with Greg Ring, who took care of a 2-year-old boy orphaned in the Highland Park mass shooting at an Independence Day parade. "He asked my wife to wipe him off because he had blood on him that wasn’t his," he says of Aiden McCarthy, who had initially pointed back toward the parade route repeating, "Mommy, Daddy." Ring says he carried the boy back there but was told by police to get down because the shooter may still be active. After trying a fire station and being told to keep the boy with them, the family brought him home to watch a Mickey Mouse cartoon with their 4-year-old until his relatives were found. His parents, of course, had both been killed. Our original story from Wednesday follows:

After the Highland Park shooting Monday at a 4th of July parade, Dana and Greg Ring found a woman holding a toddler she had found alone, having been separated from his parents in the chaos. "She was physically shaking, her whole body," Dana Ring tells CBS News. "Which told us that ... she shouldn't be having to hold, and/or deal with a little one at the same time." They took the little boy, bloodied but unhurt, from her and started looking for his parents amid what Dana Ring describes as "carnage." Unable to find his parents, they took him to a fire department. His photo was shared widely across social media in the hopes he could be reunited with his parents, the AP reports. But the end of the story is unthinkable: Both of Aiden McCarthy's parents had been killed in the mass shooting.

Kevin McCarthy, 37, and Irina McCarthy, 35, were two of the seven victims killed. "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," says a GoFundMe campaign set up for the care of the 2-year-old. "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." Irina McCarthy's parents will reportedly raise the boy. (Read more Highland Park mass shooting stories.)

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