A 2-year-old boy who survived the Independence Day parade shooting has been left an orphan after his parents were killed.
Aiden McCarthy was separated from his mother Irina and father Kevin during the attack at Highland Park in Chicago on July 4.
Aiden was unharmed but found bloodied and alone by strangers who lifted him from beneath his injured father and kept him safe.
A GoFundMe page was made to help Aiden's family care for him on his "long road ahead to heal, find stability, and ultimately navigate life as an orphan". The account has raised over US$1,275,200 ($2.06 million) as of noon today, with more than 11,000 people donating to the cause.
"We took him to safety under tragic circumstances, came together to locate his grandparents, and prayed for the safety of his family," wrote GoFundMe organiser Irina Colon.
"The North Shore community rallied to help a boy who we knew nothing about.
"Aiden is left in the unthinkable position; to grow up without his parents."
Colon said Aiden is in the care of his grandparents, Misha and Nina Levberg.
"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."
Aiden was found by Lauren Silva and her boyfriend. Silva told the Daily Beast that they heard gunfire from a few blocks away and rushed towards the injured.
"My boyfriend handed me this little boy and said he was underneath this father who was shot in the leg," she said. "They were trying to stop the bleeding so I brought the boy downstairs into the garage."
"He kept asking if Mom and Dad are going to come back soon."
The death toll from the shooting is now seven. Other victims' names have been revealed, including Steve Strauss, 88, Katherine Baldstein, 64, Jacki Sondheim, 63, and Nicholas Toledo Zaragoza, 78.
The alleged shooter, Robert Crimo, 21, has been charged with seven counts of first-degree murder. "Dozens" more charges would follow, according to Lake County State Attorney Eric Rinehart.
Crimo had legally bought two high-powered rifles and three other weapons, despite police being called to the suspect's home in 2019 after he threatened suicide and violence.