Funeral held for Highland Park parade shooting victim Kevin McCarthy, who died after shielding toddler son

McCarthy, 37, worked at a gene therapy startup and graduated from DePaul University; he died alongside his wife, Irina.

SHARE Funeral held for Highland Park parade shooting victim Kevin McCarthy, who died after shielding toddler son
Mourners greet and hug one another at the funeral for Kevin McCarthy at Donnellan Family Funeral Services in Skokie on Monday, July 18, 2022.

Mourners greet and hug one another at the funeral for Kevin McCarthy at Donnellan Family Funeral Services in Skokie on Monday, July 18, 2022.

Anthony Vazquez/Sun-Times

Cars packed the funeral home parking lot — and spilled into neighboring lots along bustling Skokie Boulevard on Monday afternoon as somber mourners entered the building.

They were there to say their final goodbyes to Kevin McCarthy, a 37-year-old husband and father who died after being shot while shielding his toddler son from bullets during the deadly Highland Park July 4 parade massacre.

His funeral took place less than a week after his wife, Irina McCarthy’s, who also died in the attack.

Kevin McCarthy’s funeral service Monday drew many supporters to Donnellan Family Funeral Services in north suburban Skokie.

Paula Thompson was leaving the funeral when she told reporters she had worked with the family but didn’t know Irina and Kevin McCarthy personally.

But she knew they were “a strong family” who “held each other up,” she said.

Kevin and Irina McCarthy were two of seven people who were killed after a gunman opened fire from his perch on a rooftop in downtown Highland Park July 4. Eduardo Uvaldo, Jacquelyn Sundheim, Katherine Goldstein, Stephen Straus and Nicolas Toledo Zaragoza were also killed.

Aiden McCarthy, 2 ½ — the son of Irina and Kevin — was shielded from gunfire by his father.

“He had Aiden under his body when he was shot,” McCarthy’s father-in-law told the Chicago Sun-Times in the days after the shooting.

Aiden’s parents were “obsessed” with him, Brittany Chism, a close friend told, the Chicago Sun-Times last week. Irina McCarthy’s father, Michael Levberg, expressed a similar sentiment.

“They were crazy about their child,” he told the Sun-Times, his voice breaking.

Even at such a young age, he inherited parts of his parents, said Chism, who was Irina McCarthy’s best friend since grade school, adding he has his mother’s “funny personality.”

Kevin McCarthy worked for a gene therapy startup after earning a degree in finance from DePaul University.

Following Monday’s service, a small group lingered outside the doors, sharing hugs.

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