Shooting victims' families want donations diverted

AP News
Posted: Aug 11, 2014 4:52 PM

HOUSTON (AP) — The extended family of a Houston-area girl who was the lone survivor of a shooting that left her parents and four siblings dead asked Monday that a fundraising effort for her be halted, after it surpassed $400,000.

Cassidy Stay, 15, survived July 9 by playing dead as her parents and four younger siblings — Bryan, 13, Emily, 9, Rebecca, 6, and Zach, 4 — were gunned down. Although wounded herself, she called police and identified the gunman as her aunt's ex-husband, Ronald Lee Haskell.

Cassidy's relatives posted a statement on the account that was set up by a family acquaintance and a Harris County constable who was among the first officers to reach the slaying scene after the teenager's 911 call.

"We have reached an amazing milestone on this fundraising site and wish to close it as we acknowledge our infinite appreciation to all who have contributed," the statement said.

"The generosity of the local, state, national and even global community has humbled us beyond our ability to convey. At this time we hope everyone will continue to reach out to those in our various communities with the same care and love that has been shown to us."

Authorities said the family members were shot when they refused to divulge the whereabouts of Haskell's ex-wife. Haskell faces multiple capital murder charges for the deaths of Stephen Stay, 39, his wife, Katie Lyon Stay, 34, and their children. Haskell had been divorced from Katie Stay's sister and records showed he had a history of domestic violence.

Cassidy's relatives thanked those who have helped the teenager.

"We will keep you all in our prayers and ask you keep us in yours as we go forward. Our faith and knowledge of Jesus Christ and His plan for all of us will heal all heartache. It is time for us as a family to develop a new routine, keeping our lost loved ones in our heart as we make a new path."

A family spokeswoman, Mary Flood, said the family didn't want to suggest where to send donations.

"People have been so generous and loving that they just think they've got to help somebody else," she said.