Student at Prestonwood Christian Academy loses family in Texas outlet mall shooting

Superintendent says school is 'heartbroken,' will 'rely on God'

The Cho family in an undated photo.
The Cho family in an undated photo. | Courtesy photo/GoFundMe

A crowdfunding campaign for a 6-year-old boy who lost his entire family in the Texas outlet mall shooting has raised more than $1.5 million just days after the tragedy.

According to the GoFundMe page, Cindy, Kyu, 6-year-old William and 3-year-old James Cho were at the Allen Premium Outlets on Saturday afternoon when a gunman opened fire, killing at least eight people, including children, and injuring seven others. 

As of Tuesday afternoon, the crowdfunding effort had earned over $1,509,360.

Cindy, Kyu and James were among those who lost their lives in the shooting, while William was wounded but later released from the ICU as the “only surviving member of this horrific event.” 

According to The Dallas Morning News, the South Korean consulate confirmed the family as Korean-Americans, adding that all of the victims of Korean descent are U.S. citizens. 

The Cho family reportedly attended New Song, a Korean Baptist church in Carrollton, a suburb located about 10 miles north of Dallas. 

While a spokesperson for New Song was unable to confirm the Cho family attended services at the church, the spokesperson said they were “currently preparing” to hold funeral services and would release more information once an official announcement is made.

New Song Church is a member of the Southern Baptist Convention and upholds the Baptist Faith and Message, according to its website.

Prestonwood Christian Academy in Plano announced William was also a student at the private school and that students and staff would be provided counseling following the shooting.

"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.”

Prestonwood Church Pastor Jack Graham urged his congregation to “be the Church” and continue to pray and serve both the family and the community impacted by the shooting.

"This wonderful, sweet family, three of the four 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,” said Graham. “We're going to keep loving and serving this family, we're going to be present in their lives.”

A daycare teacher told ABC News affiliate WFAA she remembered young James as “sweet and smart.”

"I’ve never actually met a 3-year-old that was that smart. … He was writing his own name,” Trinity Whitley was quoted as telling WFAA. “He was a super sweet kid and every day we’re going to miss him. And there won’t be a day we’re not thinking about him.”

The Cho family was among the eight victims killed by gunman Mauricio Garcia at the Allen outlet mall on May 6. Garcia was eventually fatally wounded by an on-duty police officer who was at the mall on an unrelated call.

Witnesses at the mall told The Associated Press they saw several victims, including some who seemed to be children. They also reported seeing a police officer and a security guard who appeared to be unconscious on the ground.

At least nine people were hospitalized following the incident, with their ages ranging from 5 to 61, according to a spokesperson for Medical City Healthcare, which operates three trauma facilities treating the victims.

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