Child shot in Springfield incident dies; 2 GoFundMe campaigns launched

Local News

Aubrianna Lynn, 10, “found joy in anything and everything,” her family said.

Hampden District Attorney Anthony Gulluni, in blue tie, talks with investigators at the scene of a shooting with multiple victims at a home in Springfield, Monday, Aug. 14, 2023. Authorities say a Massachusetts man fatally shot his downstairs neighbor, shot and injured two of her grandchildren, then turned the gun on himself. Don Treeger/The Republican via AP

A 10-year-old child who was critically injured in a Springfield shooting Monday has died, family members and officials confirmed. 

“At 12:56pm, my princess Aubrianna Lynn’s heart stopped beating. It was peaceful, she was not in any pain. She was surrounded by her family,” the girl’s mother, Stephanie Croteau, wrote on Facebook Thursday. 

The child had been airlifted to Boston Children’s Hospital in critical condition following Monday’s shooting, officials previously said. 

What we know about the Springfield shooting

Investigators believe that Victor Nieves, 34, forced his way into his downstairs neighbor’s apartment, shot and killed 52-year-old Kim Fairbanks, and wounded two of her grandchildren, Hampden District Attorney Anthony Gulluni’s office said in a press release. 

Nieves then turned the gun on himself and died by suicide, the DA’s office said. 

Officers arrived at 174 Berkshire Ave. around 2:40 p.m. and found Nieves, Fairbanks, and the family dog dead, according to the release. 

They also found three children hidden in a bedroom, two of them suffering from gunshot wounds. Aubrianna’s 12-year-old sister was taken to Baystate Medical Center in stable condition; her 5-year-old brother was not physically injured. 

  • Two dead, multiple minors hurt in Springfield shooting

Nieves’s girlfriend told MassLive he had been bingeing on cocaine and over-the-counter drugs, his behavior turning bizarre over the course of the afternoon. 

“He loved those kids. He would do anything for them. He wouldn’t have done that if he was in his right mind,” Monica Sanchez told the news outlet. 

Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno issued a statement mourning the child’s death. 

“As a father of two daughters, there are no words to express my feelings about this tragic loss of life. A brave and bright angel, 10-year-old Aubrianna Lynn, has been taken away all [too] soon from her family,” he said. “Let her legacy be a clarion call to all of us to redouble our efforts in her memory to do everything we can to end these senseless acts of violence. May God rest her soul.”

In a series of emotional Facebook posts throughout the week, Croteau grappled with the dual loss of her mother and child.

“Those who knew me, knew me and my mom did everything together,” she wrote on Tuesday. “We spoke about everything. No matter what it was. No matter what she was doing, when I called her panicking and crying, she had the answer. And now… who am I supposed to call?! I don’t have the answers.”

The Springfield community has rallied to support the family in the midst of the tragedy, with two separate GoFundMe pages raising money to help with funerals, medical care, housing costs, and living expenses. 

A GoFundMe for medical and funeral costs had raised more than $30,000 as of 11 a.m. on Friday. 

“This is a day that has forever altered this family’s life,” organizer Natasha Lopez wrote in the description. “They will never be the same.”

Sean Weeman Adams, a relative of the family, organized another GoFundMe “so they can have a [peace] of mind knowing they can try to move forward with a fresh start.” The page had raised more than $2,000 by Friday morning. 

“Kim was an angel in disguise,” Adams wrote in the description. “She always welcomed everyone with open arms and she had a heart of gold. … Kim was the person who dropped everything for someone who needed her. She passed doing the thing she did for everyone, fighting tooth and nail till she died.” 

He called Aubrianna “the light and joy of anyone’s life that had the pleasure of meeting her,” adding that the little girl “found joy in anything and everything.”

Originally posted 2023-08-18 15:42:33.