Strangers step up to help raise money for family of Lincoln homicide victim

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – The Lincoln community has been coming together to help raise money for the family of a Kupo Mleya.

The 38-year-old was killed last Friday when he was shot several times after a crash near 20th and Washington Streets.

Shelby Fuller-Larsen, Mleya’s former co-worker at Cycle Works in Lincoln, remembers him as a “great guy who would help anybody.”

Fuller-Larsen says she saw him that day, about an hour and a half before the crash that led to the shooting. 

“It was really random running into him, but he had the biggest smile on his face when he saw me. Of course, I did too,” she said. “He made sure to tell me he loved me and gave me a big hug before he left.”

People throughout our community are also working to put together multiple in-person fundraisers this week.

We’ll have more on those if and when they’re scheduled, but we can tell you Pepe’s Kitchen here in Lincoln held a benefit for Mleya’s family on Monday.

The restaurant said 100% of the proceeds went towards his funeral expenses.

Pepe’s also said some money will be set aside for the 12-year-old daughter Mleya leaves behind.

People back in Mleya’s home country of Zimbabwe are also mourning the 38-year-old’s passing, including its acting president.

Multiple media sites in Africa say Mleya’s father was a national hero there.

That’s one reason the country’s acting president wants to ensure Mleya’s remains are brought back home for a proper burial.

As of Tuesday morning, a GoFundMe for Mleya has already raised more than $23,000, topping its original $20,000 goal.

Officials at the fundraising website confirmed with Channel 8 that Mleya’s family set it up and that the money will go toward his funeral costs.

Lincoln Police have made an arrest in the shooting: 23-year-old Karsen Rezac, who was charged with second-degree murder and use of a weapon to commit a felony.

SEE ALSO: Lincoln man ‘freaked out’ and shot victim after crash, court documents allege

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