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An online crowdfunding effort for one of the six people killed in an elementary school shooting in Nashville this week has been surging since it was created in an example of the outpouring of compassionate responses to the preventable act of senseless violence.

Michael Hill, 61, a longtime custodian at the Covenant School, died after Audrey E. Hale shot her way inside the building on Monday morning and killed him along with five other people — three 9-year-old students, the school’s principal and a substitute teacher.

The GoFundMe offered a moving eulogy fondly remembering Hill, who had worked at the Covenant School for 14 years.

“Mike was the beloved father of eight children. More notably, he was “Big Mike” to his students, who will surely feel his loss in the years to come,” the GoFundMe, started by a parent at the school, said in part. “Per his family, he took great pleasure and found tremendous joy in his job and through those students. Funeral arrangements are being made over the next day or so, and will be shared only with the blessing of Mike’s family.”

Hill’s family issued a brief statement expressing thankfulness for continued condolences.

“As we grieve and try to grasp any sense of understanding of why this happened, we continue to ask for support,” the statement said in part. “We pray for the Covenant School and are so grateful that Michael was beloved by the faculty and students who filled him with joy for 14 years.”

Hill was also remembered as a selfless and loving person.

Longtime friend Jim Bachmann told local news outlet WKRN that Hill was a “Salt to the earth kind of fellow” and “a sweet man” who “didn’t deserve” the kind of death he met on Monday.

“If we ever needed some heavy lifting done, I’m too old to do it. We’d call Big Mike and he always would,” Bachmann added.

All the money raised from the GoFundMe is intended to help pay for Hill’s “funeral services, expenses and to further dedicate to causes close to their hearts to facilitate healing in the Covenant and Nashville communities. Mike deserves to be remembered for his selfless act protecting our children.”

As of Wednesday morning, the GoFundMe for Hill was rapidly approaching $400,000, well beyond the original goal of $25,000.

Hill’s funeral plans had not been announced as of Wednesday morning.

To make a contribution to the growing GoFundMe, click here.


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