In wake of Westerly shooting, community rallies in support of Cranston family

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A Cranston woman who was severely injured during a pre-Christmas shooting at a Westerly housing complex continues to recover – and thanks to an outpouring of generosity and support, her family has met a fundraising goal set to help provide for her care.

“She’s progressing. Hopefully, we can get her home any day now,” Ron Moss, husband of Robin Moss, said during a phone interview last week.

Robin Moss, 38, was one of three people shot during the Dec. 19 incident at the Babcock Village apartment complex, where she works as a manager. Her co-worker, 47-year-old Julie Lynn Cardinal, was killed, while 66-year-old resident Donna Thornley was also wounded. The gunman, a 66-year-old resident of the complex, took his own life.

Robin – who with her husband moved to Cranston from Franklin, Massachusetts, roughly five years ago – was initially treated in the intensive care unit at Yale New Haven Hospital. After a number of surgeries and blood transfusions, her condition has improved and her outlook has brightened, although she continues to undergo treatment.

Ron said his wife suffered nerve damage that will take up to a year to heal. He added, though, that much of the damage doctors initially thought might be permanent is now believed to be reversible.

“They’re going to continue to follow up … Right now, everything looks good,” he said.

In the wake of the shooting, family friends Steve and Janet Sawyer and Sheri Robinson established a GoFundMe campaign with a goal of $30,000 to assist the Moss family. Other friends cared for the Moss family’s four children during the holidays.

“Those who know Robin will tell you her smile can light up the room and she has a heart for serving others,” a message on the campaign’s page reads. “She is a devoted wife, loving mother and heartfelt friend. The impact of this tragedy will have significant financial impact on the family.”

The campaign raised thousands of dollars in its first weeks, and earlier this month met its goal. Ron said it was the generosity of Cardinal’s family that put his family’s campaign over the top. They opted not to accept any money from a recent benefit concert held at Phoenix Dining & Entertainment in Pawcatuck, Connecticut, instead donating their share – nearly $7,000 – to the Mosses.

“We couldn’t be more grateful … Everybody’s come together,” Ron said, specifically thanking the Cardinal family and Phoenix owner Richard Mann.

He added: “Our church has been wonderful. The people of Cranston and the people of Westerly have really been great.”

Looking ahead, Ron said Robin plans to visit with people who have been supportive during the family’s ordeal, including Cranston Mayor Allan Fung.

She also plans to advocate for proposed legislation known as “Julie’s Law” – named for Cardinal – which seeks to strengthen local background checks and create a system to identify red flags for prospective gun buyers with past issues.

“She just wants to make sure something like this doesn’t happen again … At least if we can minimize the risk in some small way, that would be great,” Ron said.

In the meantime, Ron said he and his family ask for the community’s continued backing.

“She still needs encouragement…She’s still here, she’s still working on her recovery,” he said.

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