Fundraiser For Toddler Orphaned In Highland Park Shooting Raises $2.2 Million In Less Than A Day
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Topline

An online fundraiser dedicated to supporting a two-year-old whose parents were both killed during a mass shooting at a Fourth of July parade near Chicago has raised more than $2.2 million in less than 24 hours.

Key Facts

Two-year-old Aiden McCarthy’s photo was widely shared online earlier this week after he was found alone in the wake of a shooting Monday in Highland Park, Illinois, only for police to later confirm his parents—Kevin McCarthy, 37, and Irina McCarthy, 35—were among the dead.

More than 41,000 people have donated $2.2 million to a GoFundMe created Tuesday afternoon to raise money to support Aiden, who was taken in by his grandparents.

The largest gift so far is a $18,000 donation from billionaire hedge fund manager Bill Ackman, the founder and CEO of Pershing Square Capital Management (a Pershing Square representative confirmed Ackman’s contribution to Forbes).

The GoFundMe was organized by Irina Colon, who identified herself as a resident of Northbrook, Illinois, one town over from Highland Park, the upscale Chicago suburb where on Monday a gunman opened fire and killed seven.

Colon—who says the fundraiser has received the family’s blessing—did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but GoFundMe confirmed to Forbes that the fundraiser has been verified by the platform.

Key Background

Police charged 21-year-old shooting suspect Robert Crimo III with seven counts of first-degree murder Tuesday, although a prosecutor noted dozens of additional charges are incoming. A local prosecutor said Wednesday Crimo confessed to carrying out the shooting during an interview with police. Authorities say during the Fourth of July parade in downtown Highland Park, Crimo climbed a fire escape and opened fire from a rooftop into the crowd below using an AR-15-style rifle. A total of 45 people were injured or killed, police said Tuesday. Crimo allegedly planned the attack for weeks in advance. The massacre in Highland Park was just one incident in a string of gun violence over the weekend, as firearm deaths and mass shootings in the U.S. begin to rival last year’s record-breaking numbers.

Further Reading

Alleged Highland Park Shooter Charged With Seven Counts Of First-Degree Murder (Forbes)

Dozens Shot In Spate Of Holiday Weekend Shootings Across The Country (Forbes)

U.S. Mass Shootings Hover Near Record-Breaking Levels (Forbes)

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