Indianapolis, Ind., Apr 4, 2014 / 16:13 pm
Within the span of a day, friends, family and strangers have raised more than $100,000 for the family of a young Catholic man in Indiana who was shot and killed on his usual morning walk early April 1.
"That is an incredible amount in a 24 hour period," Chelsea Ransom, the fundraiser organizer said in an April 2 post on the Go Fund Me website.
Donations began pouring in when the story of Nathan Trapuzzano's tragic death spread across social media. At press time, 2,549 donors had raised a little over $132,000 – well exceeding the requested $100,000.
Funds donated here will cover baby expenses for Trapuzzano's wife Jennifer, who is eight months pregnant with their daughter Cecilia, as well as the young man's funeral.
While he was out walking for his usual morning exercise on April 1, the 24 year-old man was mugged and shot in the abdomen outside of a tire shop in Indianapolis.
"As with many tragedies, this seems so senseless and yet the outpouring of love and support reminds us that there is so much good in this world. Nate would not want us to become angry, but rather focus on the good and what is yet to come," his family said in a statement released April 2.
"Nate had an unbelievable, strong faith in God, and we are finding some comfort knowing he is now in the Lord's loving embrace."
In the coming months, Trapuzzano was to celebrate his 25th birthday, he and his wife's first wedding anniversary, and the birth of their baby girl whom they had already named Cecilia.
The devout Catholic and his wife volunteered as sidewalk counselors with Truth and Compassion Ministry, a pro-life group dedicated to offering pregnant women alternatives to abortion.
Although Trapuzzano graduated summa cum laude with a degree in classical studies from Ball State University in Indiana, he made a career as a self-taught software engineer. While at Ball State, Trapuzzano was active in the campus Newman Center.
Ivy Tech Community College, where Trapuzzano worked, announced that it would grant a full two-year scholarship to Cecilia, who is due to be born May 7.
Trapuzzano was known to be "a true gentleman" who was "in love with his Catholic faith," according to Father Christopher Roberts, the priest who witnessed the couple's marriage last May.
The priest recalled how the bride and groom asked him to hear the wedding party's confessions the night before their big day.
"This was the first and only time I have been asked to hear confessions after a wedding rehearsal in my almost seven years as a priest," Fr. Roberts wrote.
"Nathan was a man who knew God to be a forgiving and loving father. He wanted to share that experience with others," he added.
In an interview with WISH Channel 8 News, Fr. Roberts said he believes the young man is extending mercy to his attackers.
The funeral for Nathan Trapuzzano will take place April 5 at Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Indianapolis.
The link to learn more about the Trapuzzanos and to support Jennifer with donations or to contribute to her baby shower is here.