Hundreds of people have come forward and donated to a fund for the homeless woman who alerted authorities about a man with a gun near the University of New Haven in December.
The fund has reached $23,000, according to Steve Kaplan, president of the university.
"This remarkable response demonstrates the UNH community's gratitude for our good Samaritan's heroic efforts, which potentially saved lives and certainly led to a swift apprehension of the armed suspect," Kaplan said in a statement he shared with the university community on Friday.
The mysterious woman contacted police on Dec. 3 to report seeing a man with a long gun walking toward campus.
Twenty minutes later, police took William Dong, 22, of Fairfield, into custody on the West Haven campus and said they found two loaded handguns on him. They also found a rifle in his car, which was parked in a lot on Campbell Avenue, police said.
Authorities also searched Dong’s Fairfield home and found his bedroom padlocked. Inside it, they located newspaper clippings about the Aurora, Colo., movie theater mass shooting and 2,700 rounds of ammunition, police said.
The woman who alerted authorities has chosen to remain anonymous.
While she does not want any public recognition, the university decided to honor her by doing something to help her meet her basic needs.
The school started the "UNH - Good Samaritan" fund and invited people to make donations. Kaplan said 100 percent of the funds collected will go directly to serving this woman’s needs.
The university said the woman told school officials that she never expected this kind of help.
"We continue to work with our good Samaritan to ensure that the funds donated are used to provide for her basic needs and help her gain independence. We seek to improve her quality of life because she cared so much about protecting ours. She is extremely grateful for the outpouring of generosity and says that she never expected this level of assistance," Kaplan said.
To help, you can send donations, payable to “UNH – Good Samaritan Fund.” to the attention of the VP for Finance, University of New Haven, 300 Boston Post Road, West Haven, CT 06516.
Or, you can make a donation online.
Dong has been charged with illegal possession of an assault weapon, breach of peace and other counts and is being held on a $500,000 bond. He is due back in court on Jan. 14.