Less than two days after the murder of six of the seven members of the Stay Family, people across the globe have reached out to help 15-year-old Klein Collins High School student Cassidy Stay and her extended family, donating more than $150,000 to a Go Fund Me account for funeral and medical expenses.
"We had no idea that it would be the official site for that the family," said Jody Dellinger, one of the founders of the site. "The outpouring just dumbfounds me when you have a tragedy like this."
Dellinger, district manager for Harris County Water Control & Improvement District No. 110, said he started the site with friend, Harris County Constable Pct. 4 Sgt. George Beck—the first responder to the Stay family's crime scene. Dellinger said Katie Stay—Cassidy's mother—was active within the Forest Oaks Swim and Racquet Club, and he had seen the family frequent the Forest Oaks Park.
He said he knew right away which family it was when he first heard the news and wanted to do something to help the family.
"This [district] for me, has become an extended family," Dellinger said. "I really love the parks and recreation part and I've gotten very heavily involved with this district and the people here. The people I know are extended family."
He said he was not sure how the site would work out, but he and Beck were just hoping to raise $10,000 for Cassidy, the surviving member of the Stay Family. However, the site received a $10,000 donation within the first hour and has consistently received donations from all over the world since it was created.
The site had received upwards of $156,000 as of the evening of July 11. Dellinger said extended members of the Stay family are working on developing a trust fund, and the money from the Go Fund Me site will be deposited into the fund.
Dellinger said he and friend Scott Hubert, president of a local HOA, are also working to host a fundraiser July 26 at Forest Oaks Park, located at 19023 Joanleigh Drive in Spring. He said several local businesses—including TopGolf and Brothers Pizza—have already donated to the event, which could feature barbecue, bounce houses and live music. He said a time has not been finalized, but it would likely be from noon or 1 p.m. until the evening.
Rubber bracelets will be handed out at the event, Delinger said, with "Cassidy" on one side and "Stay strong" on the other. He said he hopes Cassidy and other extended family members will attend the event.
A memorial will also be held in honor of the Stay family at 10 a.m. July 12 at Lemm Elementary School, located at 19034 Joanleigh Drive, according to Klein ISD's Twitter page.
"Klein ISD wishes to extend our sincerest sympathy to the families involved in today's tragic shooting," the district tweeted July 9 following the shooting.
Mark Herman, chief of the Harris County Precinct 4 Constable's Office, said members of the constable's office will be present at the memorial event July 12. Herman said they would be filming the event for Cassidy, who he believes is a "hero."
Herman said a 9-1-1 call was placed at 5:51 p.m. July 9 regarding a shooting in the Enchanted Oaks subdivision in Spring. Officers arrived on scene four minutes later to find seven people had been shot.
Cassidy was transported by ambulance to the hospital, but not before informing officers that it was her former uncle Ron Haskell who had committed the shootings, Herman said. The wounded teen informed law enforcement that Haskell was headed to her grandparents house, allowing law enforcement to apprehend him.
"Out of all this deal here, the 15-year-old girl is a hero," Herman said. "She was shot in the head, and she was determined to get us that information. If she had not done that, I have no doubt in my mind there would have been more fatalities."
The other six members of the Stay family—including parents Katie and Stephen Stay and Cassidy's four siblings—did not survive the shooting. Herman said Cassidy was in stable condition as of July 11.
He said he believes it is important for the constable's office to attend the July 12 event and remember the Stay family.
"That is the community we serve out there," he said. "Those are the people we serve."