Aiden McCarthy was at the parade with his parents Irina and Kevin McCarthy when Robert Crimo III allegedly opened fire, killing seven people and injuring more than 30 others.
“Kevin died a hero and Irina was a loving mother,” said Tony Colon, cousin.
Both of his parents were killed. He was found by other parade participants who took him to safety and helped reunite him with his grandparents. He has remained in her care ever since.
“They are devastated, shaken. They are not well,” said Irina Colon, cousin.
ABC News reports that he thinks his parents are on a trip. According to a family member who spoke to ABC News, every time a car pulls into the driveway, he says, “Mom and Dad are home.”
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According to ABC News, the family is working with mental health professionals to determine the best time and way to tell Aiden his parents are gone.
Lauren Silva also attended the parade with her teenage son and said they were on their way back to the parking garage to get a wallet when the shooting happened.
“When we heard the shooting stop, we went back upstairs to see the bodies,” Silva said. “We saw about five bodies on the ground in the Highland Park plaza. It was bleak. It was like an apocalypse. It was eerie and quiet.”
People had already run from the circle where the victims fell and said they saw the boy’s parents face down.
She remembered that Aiden had to be raised under his father. His grandfather said he survived because his father shielded him with his body.
“As I came up from the landing my friend had Aiden in his hands where he had just gotten him away from under his father who fell on top of him after he was shot,” she said.
She turned him over to the Ring family, who helped bring him to safety.
“Every time I tried to ask him his name, he would answer me: ‘Mom, Dada, come and pick me up soon. Mom’s car is coming to pick me up soon,'” Dana Ring recalled in an interview that aired Wednesday’s “Good Morning America.”
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https://6abc.com/highland-park-shooting-aiden-mccarthy-kevin-irina/12036162/ Highland Park, Illinois parade shooting: Orphaned toddler Aiden McCarthy doesn’t know parents are dead, family tells ABC News