GoFundMe tops $1m for boy, 6, who lost entire family in Allen mall mass shooting

According to a GoFundMe set up to help the six-year-old, the family-of-four had just celebrated his sixth birthday days before three of them were murdered

Rachel Sharp
Wednesday 10 May 2023 12:41 BST
Texas mall shooting survivor reveals store worker died saving shoppers

A GoFundMe campaign has topped $1.2m for a six-year-old boy who was the only member of a Korean American family to survive the mass shooting at a mall in Allen, Texas.

Cindy Cho, Kyu Cho, and their children William, 6, and James, 3, had gone shopping at the Allen Premium Outlets on Saturday afternoon when gunman Mauricio Garcia, 33, drove to the mall armed with an AR-15 and opened fire on innocent shoppers and mall workers.

Cindy, 35, Kyu, 37, and James were among the eight victims killed in the massacre before Garcia was shot dead by a law enforcement officer on the scene.

Now, after his mother, father and younger brother were all murdered, little William has been left orphaned.

The family had just celebrated William’s sixth birthday four days earlier, according to a GoFundMe set up to help him.

“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 read.

“Cindy, Kyu and three year old James were among those victims that tragically lost their lives and the family is in deep mourning. After being released from the ICU, their six year old son William is the only surviving member of this horrific event.”

The campaign page added: “This GoFundMe is being created to help their family. Please share this link with your family and friends.”

As of Tuesday morning, the GoFundMe had soared past $1.2m.

All eight victims of Saturday’s horror mass shooting have now been identified.

Friends of Cho family setup a GoFundMe request
Friends of Cho family setup a GoFundMe request (GoFundMe)

They are: Christian LaCour, a 20-year-old mall security guard, Aishwarya Thatikonda, a 26-year-old engineer who moved to the US from India, elementary school-age sisters Daniela, 11, and Sofia Mendoza, 8, and Elio Cumana-Rivas, 32.

The motive for the horror attack remains unknown but investigators are said to be probing Garcia’s possible neo-Nazi and white supremacist ideologies.

At the time of the shooting, the gunman – an Army veteran who worked as a security guard – was reportedly wearing a patch reading “RWDS” – standing for Right Wing Death Squad.

A social media profile believed to belong to the gunman, and reviewed by The Independent and extremism researchers, show that he posted dozens of Nazi-related images and hate-filled rants against women and racial minorities prior to Saturday’s massacre.

The profile on the Russian-based platform ok.ru also reveals that he staked out the mall in the lead-up to the shooting, working out the times that would have the most footfall.

More than two dozen photos of the Texas mall and surrounding areas, including Google location information, were found on the profile.

Other images included photos showing SS and swastika tattoos, praise for Adolf Hitler, misogynistic screeds that echo incel (or involuntary celibate) ideas and forums, and complaints about the state of his mental health.

In what appears to be a final post, the user claims that a psychologist would not be able to “fix” him.

A link to a YouTube video posted by the same person on the day of the shooting shows Garcia removing a Scream mask and asking: “Not quite what you were expecting, huh?”

The horror mass shooting has reignited calls for greater gun control – coming off the back of multiple other mass shootings and just days before the anniversary of the Uvalde massacre.

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