ATLANTA -- The burden of a family struggling to bury their son killed in a senseless shooting has gotten a bit lighter.
On Wednesday, the mother of a 17-year-old Mays High School student told 11Alive that they "just need[ed] a little bit of help" burying their son. On April 21, Daronald Wilkerson was shot and killed outside a Sylvan Road gas station after "some sort of disagreement." Police arrested the suspected shooter, but Wilkerson's family had been pressed for funds in order to lay him to rest.
"Right now, it’s a struggle trying to get the money to bury him properly," Tasandra Wilkerson said. "I never imagined me having to bury my child this early, you know. And it’s hard. It’s very hard."
Wilkerson told 11Alive's Faith Abubey that she tried everything to get enough money to help with funeral expenses -- from selling donuts to food to pins of her son's face.
The family set up a GoFundMe page to try to help pay for funeral expenses -- $3,000 for the initial funeral services and another $1,800 for the burial.
Since 11Alive aired the story Wednesday evening, the family has received an overwhelming amount of donations. On Wednesday morning, the family had reached only about half of their fundraising goal of $6,000. As of 8 p.m., that amount had risen to about $10,000.
Thanks to those donations, the family said they were able to get in touch with the funeral home and are now working to schedule the funeral for May 11 at 11 a.m. at the Hollfield Mortuary on Hollywood Road NW.
Willkerson told 11Alive via text message that she was thankful for all the support.