Aiden McCarthy's photo was shared across Chicago-area social media groups in the hours after the July 4 parade shooting in Highland Park, accompanied by pleas to help identify the 2-year-old who had been found at the scene bloodied and alone and to reunite him with his family.
On Tuesday, friends and authorities confirmed that the boy's parents, Kevin McCarthy, 37, and Irina McCarthy, 35, were among seven people killed in the tragedy.
"At two years old, Aiden is left in the unthinkable position: to grow up without his parents," said Irina Colon, who set up an online fundraiser for the child. "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."
According to Colon, the community came together to locate McCarthy’s grandparents in the aftermath of the shooting, and the couple will help to raise him in the years ahead.
The GoFundMe fundraiser Colon started aiming to raise funds for Aiden has drawn tens of thousands of donors.
More than 41,000 people have already donated to the campaign, according to GoFundMe, with $2,210,000 raised as of 11 a.m. on Wednesday.
Irina and Kevin McCarthy were among seven people killed in the shooting, with dozens of others injured when a gunman opened fire from a rooftop near the parade route.
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Joe Nolan, the chief executive officer of Jaguar Gene Therapy, confirmed in an email to employees that Kevin McCarthy, who worked with the company, was among the victims.
Kevin McCarthy was remembered as a "star employee" with an "incredible work ethic."
"Outside of work he was a very proud dad and devoted husband who adored his family," Nolan wrote. "We will miss him tremendously."
Irina McCarthy's childhood friend, Angela Vella, described McCarthy as fun, personable and “somewhat of a tomboy" who still liked to dress up nicely.
“She definitely had her own style, which I always admired,” Vella said in a short interview.
That suspect was taken into custody, and he has been charged with seven counts of first-degree murder in connection to the shooting, with additional charges to come.
The Associate Press contributed to this report.