Twenty-three lives were cut short after a killer tornado shredded through Lee County, Alabama Sunday.
The EF-4 tornado left behind debris and broken hearts. Out of the 23 who were killed, four of them were children. The youngest was just 6 years old.
Chris Darden with the NWS called the storm a "monster tornado."
❤ May they all rest in peace. ❤
Taylor Thornton, 10 years old
The 4th grader was visiting friends when the storm hit.
“She was the air in my lungs," her father, David Thornton, said.
A GoFundMe page has been created to help the family with funeral costs. It's surpassed its goal of $15,000 with a total at more than $36,000.
Jonathan Marquez Bowen, 9 years old
Shamel Hart described the day the tornado ripped through her home.
"When I found my son I was trying to do everything to keep him with me," the GoFundeMe campaign reads. "I tried my hardest to save him with the help of the most heroic people of Beauregard."
"A mother's worst nightmare is to have to bury their child," it said.
The fundraising campaign is hoping to raise $10,000.
Mykhayla Waldon, 8 years old
Little Mykhayla Waldon is Jonathan's younger cousin. A fundraising post for her says she “lived eight years, eight years of joy, not sorrow… love, never hate.”
The GoFundMe campaign, which was created March 4, said some of her siblings were still in the hospital.
NBC reports that the 8-year-old was a 3rd grader at Beauregard Elementary and a member of the community's Champagne Divas dance team.
Armondo "AJ" Hernandez, 6 years old
Armondo "AJ" Hernandez was the youngest person killed in the tornado.
According the Frederick-Dean Funeral Home, the 6-year-old was a happy child.
"He liked to have Nerf gun fights with his brother Jordan, riding his bicycle, inventing things and Alabama Football," the funeral home said. He attended Providence Baptist Church.
He was killed just two days after singing in his 1st grade class musical.
NBC reports AJ's brother and his dad survived the tornado and were hospitalized. His grandfather, Bobby Kidd, spoke about how the tornado ripped AJ and his brother from their father.
“The house just exploded, he said both boys were just sucked completely out of his arms.'”
Photos: EF-4 tornado devastates Lee County, Alabama
MORE TORNADO COVERAGE |
The Associated Press contributed to this report.