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Highland Park victims Kevin and Irina McCarthy leave behind a toddler who must ‘navigate life as an orphan’


The parents of the 2-year-old boy found in the chaotic aftermath of the Highland Park parade shooting were identified on Tuesday as Kevin and Irina McCarthy.

The boy, Aiden, emerged unscathed from the massacre, according to a fundraiser verified by GoFundMe. He will be cared for by his family members.

“Aiden finds himself in an unthinkable position: growing up without his parents,” the page says. “He will have a long way to go to heal, find stability and ultimately navigate life as an orphan. He is surrounded by a community of friends and extended family who will embrace him with love and every means. available to make sure he has everything he needs as he grows.”

Irina McCarthy’s father, Michael Levberg, told the Chicago Sun-Times that Kevin died protecting his son.

“He had Aiden under his body when he was shot,” Levberg told the newspaper. Hours later, when Levberg picked up Aiden from the Highland Park Police Station, the little boy told him, “Mom and Dad are coming soon.”

“They were crazy about their child,” Levberg added, his voice cracking, the newspaper reported. “They were planning two.”

Irina, 35, and Kevin, 37, were graduates of DePaul University in Chicago, the university announced Tuesday evening.

Highland Park victims Kevin and Irina McCarthy leave behind a toddler who must ‘navigate life as an orphan’
Irina and Kevin McCarthy.through GoFundMe

“We send our prayers to their families, especially their son Aiden, and to all those affected by this senseless tragedy,” DePaul spokesman Russell Dorn said in an email.

Irina graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Finance in 2009; Kevin earned the same degree two years later, according to Dorn.

Kevin McCarthy worked with Jaguar Gene Therapy, the Illinois company’s chief executive said in an email to employees, according to NBC Chicago. CEO Joe Nolan wrote that Kevin was a “star employee” with an “incredible work ethic”.

“Outside of work, he was a very proud father and devoted husband who adored his family,” Nolan wrote, according to the station. “He will be greatly missed.”

Other victims killed in the holiday parade have been identified by police as Katherine Goldstein, 64; Jacquelyn (Jacki) Sundheim, 63; Etienne Straus, 88; and Nicolas Toledo-Zaragoza, 78.

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