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Massacre survivor’s family raises college funds

By Sadef Ali Kully

The family and friends of Christina Walker, the survivor of a murder-suicide in Rosedale, announced the creation of a college fund in her name June 6 at St. Clare Catholic Academy.

“Although Christina is doing much better, she still requires further treatment and observation,” said Lorna Simmons, Walker’s cousin. “Together with the family and entire community, we would like to give her the support she needs to build her life and chart her future towards any goal she desires.”

In January 25 , 12 year-old Walker woke up to the sound of gunshots when her father, Jonathan Walker, in a drunken rage, shot and killed her mother, grandmother and younger sister while they were asleep. Jonathan Walker was later found dead in a vehicle near JFK with a gunshot wound to the head.

Christina Walker, who called 911, survived with a gunshot wound to her head and was put in a medically induced coma. While in recovery and living with extended family, Walker started school a couple of months after the tragedy and is thriving academically at St. Clare in Rosedale, Mary Basile, the school’s prinicpal, said.

Recently, Walker won second place in a spelling bee at the school.

“Christina is doing excellent academically,” Basile said. “She is a wonderful, sweet person who deserves an opportunity to work towards her goals and become the successful adult we all know she will be.”

Councilmember Donovan Richards (D-Laurelton), St. Clare Catholic Academy and the Working Families Party’s Queens advocate and creative director Rafael Shimunov established Friends of Christina to raise funds to build a college trust for Christina.

“Christina and her family were blindsided by this tragedy and were forced to come together to help her move on and continue working towards her dreams,” Richards said. “It is our job to make sure they are not alone as they pick up the pieces. What happened that day impacted, not only her family, but the entire community.”

Despite the calamity, Walker has shown an immense amount of resilience and conviction to recover said Richards, who has kept in touch with Christina and her family.

“She wants to be an archaeologist right now,” said her uncle, NYPD Officer Rodney Hale, who took Christina into his home after she recovered at the hospital.

Donations to the fund can be made at www.friendsofchristina.com, a Go Fund Me project. All proceeds will go directly towards Christina’s education and medical expenses.

Reach Reporter Sadef Ali Kully by e-mail at skully@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4546.

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