HIGHLAND PARK, Ill. — Shock and horror spread across the nation after a gunman killed seven people and injured dozens more at a suburban Chicago Fourth of July parade.
Among the reactions were pleas for help. Photos of a 2-year-old boy with blonde, curly hair spread across social media Monday as people tried to identify him. He was found unhurt but alone and bloodied at the scene.
On Tuesday, friends and authorities confirmed that the boy's parents, Kevin and Irina McCarthy, were among seven people killed in the tragedy.
"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," wrote Irina Colon on a GoFundMe page she created for the family and Aiden. "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 fundraiser, verified by GoFundMe, asked for $500,000 to support the boy and his caregivers. It had raised over $2 million by Wednesday morning. More than 39,000 people had donated.
Support poured in for other fundraisers connected to the tragedy as people across the nation searched for a way to help. A GoFundMe for a man who need surgery after surviving a bullet to the back raised more than $52,000. Another, for the funeral of a grandfather who was shot and killed, raised more than $118,000. GoFundMe has created a page listing verified fundraisers for Highland Park victims and survivors.
The five others killed were identified as Katherine Goldstein, 64; Jacquelyn Sundheim, 63; Stephen Straus, 88; Nicolas Toledo-Zaragoza, 78; and Eduardo Uvaldo, 69.