Strangers and loved ones raised more than $58,000 within a few days through GoFundMe for four children after their father reportedly killed their mother and then himself in Ramsey, Minnesota, on April 22.
The children, whose ages range from 2 to 12, watched their father, Bryce William Monson, shoot and kill their mother, Courtney Marie Monson, before taking his own life, KMSP reports.
Police say Courtney tried hiding from Bryce in a room in the basement with three of the four children before being killed.
Neighbors recall hearing cries for help that night.
“They just ran out and took off to their neighbors,” neighbor Kathy Anderson, who was there that day, said. “There were four of them. The oldest was carrying the youngest baby, the daughter.”
Youth pastor Tyler Roland of Hope Fellowship created the GoFundMe account for the children titled, “Support Courtney’s Legacy.”
Within 24 hours, Roland had already raised $38,000 for the children.
“Courtney Monson was a loving mother, daughter, sister, cousin, friend, workout buddy and so much more,” Roland wrote on the website.
“She strived to provide them with the best life possible! It is our aim to help that legacy she hoped for, live on,” he added.
The money will placed into a savings account and also help Courtney's parents, who will now take care of the children.
“The funds will help offset the cost for a funeral and to aid in allowing the kids to remain in their sports and aid grandma and grandpa in adding 4 kids into their home,” Roland wrote.
Friends expressed their shock and grief over the loss of both Courtney and Bryce.
“I was a classmate to Bryce and did not keep in contact with him after high school; however, I am blown away by this tragedy on many levels,” wrote Heather DeJong, who donated $50. “Prayers and peace to the children, community and Courtney's parents/close relatives. Unfortunately, domestic abuse/emotional or physical abuse is all too common in our society and it is heartbreaking to see the ultimate devastation it can result in.”