A candlelight vigil is being held tonight to honor a woman killed in an apparent murder-suicide last week.
The Anoka County Sheriff's Office has said Courtney Monson, 30 years old, was shot multiple times by her 41-year-old husband Bryce Monson last week, before he turned the gun on himself. Both were found dead in their Ramsey home.
"Courtney Monson was an incredible mother that always put her kids first and gave to our community through countless hours of volunteerism," Dustin Reeder, the President of the Anoka Ramsey Athletic Association said in an email. "It is now time for us as her community to give back to her by lifting up her family during their time of need."
Since Courtney was an active member on the ARAA board and other youth athletics, they decided the best place to host the event would be Central Park in Ramsey.
The vigil starts at 8 p.m. Friday, but as they are anticipating a large crowd, attendees are being asked to arrive an hour earlier.
Her four children – ages 12, 9, 3 and 2 – are under the care of their grandparents.
On a GoFundMe page set up in her honor, Courtney Monson is described as “a loving mother, daughter, sister, cousin, friend, workout buddy and so much more,” adding she “strived to provide [her children] with the best life possible.”
The page was hoping to raise $20,000 to be put into a savings account under the care of the childrens’ grandmother, to help with the cost of a funeral and future care of the kids, including their continued participation in sports.
The page raised nearly $23,000 in the first day.
The total now is over $67,000, and the page raised its goal to $150,000.
"The family wishes to extend a huge Thank You! Words cannot express the gratitude! We have raised our goal per many recommendations! Please continue to keep these kids in your prayers!" an update on the GoFundMe page says.
Domestic violence in Minnesota
The Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women says at least 34 people died in Minnesota from suspected domestic violence last year, an increase from 23 total in 2014. The “Femicide Report” shows 22 women and three men died at the hands of a partner or an ex.
A 24-hour phone line is available at (866) 223-1111.
The National Domestic Violence Hotline can be reached at (800) 799-7233 or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY)