Christian Student from Prestonwood Loses Family in TX Mall Shooting, Donors Give $1.7M to Help Him
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A GoFundMe campaign started on behalf of a six-year-old boy who lost his entire family in the Texas outlet mall shooting last Saturday has raised over $1.5 million in just two days.
William Cho, 6, is the only surviving member of his family after a gunman killed eight people at Allen Premium Outlets in Allen, TX.
William had celebrated his birthday just four days prior and was at the mall with his mom, Cindy, his dad, Kyu, and three-year-old brother, James, according to the GoFundMe page.
An afternoon that should have been filled with light, love, and celebration, unfortunately, was cut short by another mass shooting massacre that left 8 victims dead," it reads. "After being released from the ICU, their six-year-old son William is the only surviving member of this horrific event."
The campaign organizers asked for $50,000 to help William, but more than 32,000 people have given more than $1.7 million.
"We are deeply grateful and sincerely appreciate this outpouring of love and prayers from all around the country. William is recovering well. Both Kyu and Cindy's family will use these funds to help William continue the legacy of his parents," reads an update.
Myoung Joon Kim, head of the Consulate of the Republic of Korea in Dallas, told The Dallas Morning News that they were in contact with the Cho family.
"The Korean consulate joins the people of the Dallas-Fort Worth area to express our deepest condolences for the victims and their family members," Kim said. "We pray for the victims and their family members for their healing and recovery."
Meanwhile, Prestonwood Christian Academy in Plano confirmed in a video message Monday that the Cho family is a part of their community.
"We're certainly heartbroken over the news of the shooting in Allen, Texas, and we can confirm that it did impact a family here at PCA," said PCA Superintendent Dr. Mike Goddard. "One of the things that's really powerful about having a connection to church and school is that we're family-oriented and we rely on God during times like this."
Dr. Jack Graham, the senior pastor of the Prestonwood megachurch, shared in that same message that now is the time to "be the people of God" and support those affected by the tragic events.
"We are together in this," he said. "In this wonderful sweet family, three of the four are now in Heaven and a child left behind needs the ministry and the care of Christian people. And our entire community needs this as well. The Church is made for a time like this...so we can show the love of Christ and be there for people."
"This is a time that we remember to love...We're going to keep loving and serving this family, we're going to be present in their lives," he continued.
William's mom, dad, and younger brother, as well as the other victims are being honored at a vigil at the mall Wednesday night.
Gunman Mauricio Garcia was fatally shot by an officer at the scene after killing eight people and wounding nine others.
Three of the individuals killed were children including William's brother, James.
James' daycare teacher, Trinity Whitley, told WFAA that the young boy was innocent, smart, and sweet.
"He was a super sweet kid and every day we're going to miss him," she said. "And there won't be a day we're not thinking about him."
Saturday's shooting is considered the second-deadliest mass shooting in the United States this year.
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