FRESNO, California (KGPE) — Fresno city leaders are stepping up to make sure the families affected by Sunday’s mass shooting are taken care of. This comes as loved ones continue to try and come to terms with what happened.
The shooting happened at a backyard football party Sunday close to 8 p.m. Around 16 people were in the backyard when at least one person snuck in and fired multiple shots.
Ten people in total were hit by bullets, four of them died. Some of the victims are still recovering in the hospital.
As they clutched a family picture, the pain on each of Xy Lee’s family members’ faces was evident Wednesday.
“He is the nicest person I have known. He’s a person everyone wanted to be friends with,” Kou Lee, Xy Lee’s older brother, said.
Xy Lee, 23, was a popular musician, and family says thousands of his fans from around the world have been writing their condolences to the family.
However, they’ve been hearing from more than just fans.
Pao Yang, executive director of Southeast Asian nonprofit, The Fresno Center, said the support has been flooding in for the other families as well.
The other men who died Sunday are Phia Vang, 31, Kou Xiong, 38 and Kalaxang Thao, 40.
“With social media, our entire Hmong community in the country is heartbroken,” Yang said.
To help these families out, four Fresno City Council members and Mayor Lee Brand announced the Fresno Mass Shooting Victims Fund. The campaign will help affected families with medical and funeral costs.
Initially, it had a goal of $130,000, but it’s been increased to $500,000.
“Late last night, we met with the families of the victims and we learned quite quickly that the need for them is much greater than we initially estimated,” said city council member Miguel Arias.
Thanks to the help of private donors, the fund already has more than $30,000. Xy Lee’s father, Xai Pao Lee, said he’s very happy with what city leaders have done.
With the help of Yang interpreting, Xai Pao Lee told reporters at city hall, “I may be Xy’s father, but Xy is a child of Fresno.”
Fresno City Council will have a special meeting Friday to discuss pledging money to the Crimestoppers reward. Council member Esmeralda Soria put in $5,000 Tuesday, bringing the reward to $15,000.
Aside from the GoFundMe, the city helped put on a blood drive in partnership with the Central California Blood Center in front of city hall Wednesday. Officials with the blood center say Sunday’s shooting took a toll on the local blood supply.
Here is a list of all GoFundMe campaigns right now, including the one the city created:
- Fresno Mass Shooting Victims Fund
- Fundraiser for Kou Xiong
- Fundraiser for Kalaxang Thao
- Fundraiser for Moua Vang