CINCINNATI - Two days after Richard Evans was shot to death in his Hartwell pizzeria, Cosmic Pizza, an outpouring of community support has flooded the Internet.
The Internet donation website gofundme.com shows that more than $8,000 had been donated by a total of at least 80 people for the Evans' family, all within 24 hours of the posting asking for support. Additionally, website administrator Dawn Murray reports that a cemetery plot was donated, but funds were still being sought for burial services.
Evans, a husband and father of three young children, was shot and killed Saturday after 6 p.m. during an attempted robbery at his eatery, according to Cincinnati police. Officers said Evans was shot multiple times inside Cosmic Pizza, then ran outside of the building before collapsing in a neighbor's front yard.
On the donation website set up for Evans, a Cosmic Pizza employee, expressed his sympathies for Richard's wife, who is known as "O," and their children.
"I used to deliver pizzas for Richard," David Fields commented. "He and O taught me how to roll dough for their style of pizza. His wife and kids were always so sweet to me when I was there. As a father and friend, my condolences go out to his family."
Other comments praising Evans and his family also mark the site.
"We will remember Rich as someone who always made his customers feel special. He welcomed us with a smile and every pizza brought enjoyment to our family," wrote the Greenberg-Kriner Family when they posted their donation.
Alice Fegelman also remembered Evans' enthusiasm, for the restaurant and his family.
"We so enjoyed talk with Rich and learning about why and how he got started in Hartwell. He was so proud of his young family and beautiful wife, who worked with him," Fegelman wrote.
On Sunday, an impromptu prayer vigil outside of Cosmic Pizza also took place to honor Richard.
Matt Madison was at that vigil, stating he and his wife were some of the first people on the scene when Evans staggered out of his business. Evan's wife and children were in the restaurant during the time of the shooting on Saturday.
Madison recalled trying to help and then praying alongside Evans' wife in the final moments of the pizzeria owner's life.
"I'm glad someone was there for him in that terrible time," said Madison, adding that everyone who was near the restaurant at the time of the shooting attempted to be there for Evans and his family in one way or another.
Donations can be made at the Evans family fund at http://www.gofundme.com/3ac52k .
Police are still seeking a suspect and information on the incident. Anyone with information in this case is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (513) 352-3040.