LAS VEGAS (KSNV MyNews3.com) --The community came together Saturday to do what it could to help the family of Metro officer David VanBuskirk who fell to his death Monday while rescuing a hiker at Mount Charleston.
The fundraiser was outside the Sam's Club near Eastern and Serene and just in a matter of 10 hours nearly $13,000 was raised. While a lot of officers from Metro came from different divisions to show support, there was also a lot of support from strangers.
People drove up in cars and held out cash to drop in a vase outside the entrance. Others walked up to the table outside with donations.
Claudia Kintigh was with her young boys, and stopped to buy a black magnetic ribbon. Her cousin is a Metro police officer.
"They're all a family. They're very close-knit. They call themselves brothers and sisters as I understand from my cousin," Kintigh said.
She understands the pain police officers are experiencing with the loss of officer VanBuskirk.
"Very sad, very sad to go about our business every day. We take it for granted what police do for us every day. The least I could do is pay $5 to show my support," Kintigh said.
Van Buskirk's funeral is set for noon Monday at Central Christian Church in Henderson.
Fellow officers are pulling together to show support, and through the Injured Police Officers Fund, money is being raised to help VanBuskirk's family following this tragedy.
"Some of the benefits take some time to get processed and get to the family as far as the death benefits and things like that so these are here to really help them out immediately throughout the next couple of months," said Metro Detective Richard Golgart.
So as the table was set and the word spread, people responded. money kept coming in. Much of it came from strangers such as Susan Lauretta who thought it was very important to make a contribution to the family.
"Anything the family needs for help I was happy to give. I couldn't give a lot; I gave what I could. and I wanted to. I felt really deeply. I had seen it on the news almost every day since it happened and it just touched me very deeply, that someone could give their life to save someone," Lauretta said.
There is a Wells Fargo account 6102 that you can contribute to for the next three months if you haven't had a chance. Another fundraiser is being planned for next Saturday.