ROXBURY, NJ — An online fundraiser seeks to collect $10,000 for a Roxbury woman who, according to its creator, was the person shot on Memorial Day during a domestic dispute in Ledgewood.
As of Sunday night, the GoFundMe page created by Amanda Matos had received about $1,000 in donations. On the page, Matos says she is a best friend of Kristin Burns, a woman she identifies as the victim of gunshot wounds for which Michael Mecca, of West Orange, faces charges.
In announcing the charges against Mecca, authorities did not reveal the name of the victim. They said Mecca, facing charges including second-degree aggravated assault, became involved in an argument with “the victim,” left the scene and returned shortly thereafter with a .40-caliber handgun.
An altercation followed and Mecca fired several shots into the victim’s leg, officials said. Mecca then left the Roxbury area, prompting heavy police response that included road closures. He turned himself in the next day, police said.
Matos, who published the GoFundMe page on Saturday, describes Burns as being a single mother of five who is living alone. She says Burns is a “special young woman” who often displays kindness, love and community spirit.
“Amidst the global pandemic of COVID-19, Kristin was out there with her mask and gloves on providing food baskets with her own funds to families in need,” says the site. “She is constantly donating her time to charities and going above and beyond helping others in whatever way possible. Now she needs our help in return.”
'Starting All Over Again'
She said Mecca is her friend’s former spouse and contends the bullet wounds came after he beat up Burns when he returned to the house after leaving during an argument. “She received over 10 blows to her head, face, and forehead,” says the GoFundMe site.
Matos did not immediately respond to a request Sunday for an interview. An attempt last week to talk to Mecca’s family did not yield a response.
On the site, Matos says Burns is “recently separated from her second partner” and “was only just beginning to get back on her feet after the separation and will now be faced with starting all over again.”
Burns will need at least three months of recovery, including physical therapy, says Matos, who said her friend is expected to return home from the hospital within the next 10 days. “Thanks be to God that she is now able to be with family over the next week while she recovers,” she wrote. “However, the road to recovery will be long and hard.”
The money from the fundraiser will help Burns pay for “laundry services for her and her children, meal deliveries from local restaurants, basic need/household items being delivered from local stores such as ShopRite and Walmart, transportation to and from medical appointments, any hospital bills or medications that aren't covered from insurance, and her regular household bills (rent, utilities, etc.),” Matos says.
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