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UCLA student sets up fund to support mother, other victims of shooting and arson

By Jingxi Zhai

Feb. 23, 2012 8:14 a.m.

A UCLA student and his sister are working on a relief fund for their mother, who was the victim of a shooting earlier this month.

On Thursday, a man with a gun entered the East Hollywood home of fourth-year English student Evan Neubauer’s mother, Shaunna Heth, which she shared with four others.

After shooting multiple times at several of the residents, the gunman lit the house on fire, then took his own life.

Heth and two others survived the shooting, while the gunman and an unidentified man, another roommate, were found dead in the remnants of the house. The gunman was Heth’s ex-boyfriend.

Currently, the three survivors are all in stable condition.

Evan Neubauer and his sister Brisa Heth established an online fund to collect money for their mother and another survivor of the incident. The fund will be combined with a different fund, which has raised more than $19,200 so far, according to Neubauer. Each of the three survivors will receive a third of the total amount of money raised.

Money from the fund will be used to pay for medical bills, replace belongings and rebuild the lives of the survivors, Neubauer said.

Their goal is to raise $5,000, but the siblings said they would appreciate any help they can get. The fund has raised about $4,685 so far.

Because she does not have health insurance, the funds will help pay for Shaunna Heth’s medical bills. The money will also help her find a new home, buy equipment for work and get a new wardrobe, all of which she lost in the fire.

Neubauer found out about his mother’s shooting from news reports. Alone in his room in his fraternity house, Delta Tau Delta, and unable to get to his mother, Neubauer said he was helplessly scared and disconnected.

“When I went into the hospital, I didn’t know where she was shot,” Neubauer said. “It was heartbreaking to see her like that.”

An hour after Neubauer heard the news about his mother, his aunt drove him to the hospital. He and his sister spent the night with their mother.

Neubauer said he has not talked to their mother about what happened, and has only heard what happened through recollections from the other two survivors.

Shaunna Heth’s jaw was fractured in the incident, which required doctors to use a wire to stabilize it.

She instead uses a notepad to communicate through writing, he said.

Brisa Heth and Neubauer have stayed with their mother every night since the shooting. They said seeing her has made them calm and helps them cope with the trauma of the event. Brisa Heth said the hospital hopes to discharge her mother within a week.

The online fund has been set up in the name of Shaunna Heth and Brad Guerrero, another tenant who survived the shooting.

Compiled by Jingxi Zhai, Bruin contributor.

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