Donations pour in to fund for slain clerk's family




Posted on May 26, 2012 at 6:11 PM

Updated Saturday, May 26 at 10:21 PM

GARLAND — Donations are pouring in to a fund to help the family of Garland convenience store clerk Nancy Harris, who was set on fire by a robbery suspect last Sunday.

The 76-year-old woman died of her injuries on Friday.

The cruelty and senselessness of the attack touched a nerve with many in her community, and galvanized efforts to help her grieving family.

"If someone is going to go out of their way to do something bad, we’re going to go out of our way to make it better," said Dylan Stooksberry, 17. Before word of Harris' death, the high school student helped organize a charity car wash for Saturday morning at the Fina Whip-In convenience store where she was attacked that raised more than $10,000 for the victim's family.

“We’ve had people calling in from all over,” Stooksberry said.

Harris died Friday evening at Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas, where she had been in critical condition since Sunday. A robber at the Fina Whip-In convenience store doused her with a flammable liquid and set her on fire.

Police expect to upgrade the charges against suspect Matthew Johnson, 36, to capital murder. He was arrested shortly after the attack.

Johnson's family told News 8 he was likely looking for drug money. The Garland man remains at the Dallas County Jail on a $1 million bond.

Most of the young people who took part in Saturday's fundraising car wash at Broadway and Colonel Drive came from nearby South Garland High School; one of Harris’ grandchildren is a student there.

"I felt like we need to something... not just as a high school, but a community effort," said 17-year-old student Hunter Pruitt.