Fund set up to help children orphaned in murder-suicide

CREATED Dec 20, 2013 - UPDATED: Dec 20, 2013

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MILWAUKEE - A neighborhood is standing strong to help three young children survive the unthinkable.

Dontavion Smith shot and killed his girlfriend, Janie Jefferson, and then himself at their south side home early Thursday morning. Their kids were inside.

That's when their 6-year-old daughter gathered her 5-year-old sister and infant brother and sat on the front porch, waiting for a grownup to come by and help them.

Sandra Gomez lives just three doors down. Friday she was joined by Alderman Bob Donovan and members of the police department to announce the Jefferson Orphan Fund, an effort to raise money for the kids.

Donovan said, "I'm challenging this community, this city, to step up to the plate and join us. And by God, get in the game and help make these kids lives just a little better."

Already, people have. The Milwaukee Police Association started it off with a $500 donation.

Association president Mike Crivello says this case has taken a toll on one of the guys who responded. "More than anything I could feel the pain in his heart, his labored voice, as he described what he had to deal with here."

An anonymous business owner also jumped in. "He gave me this envelope with $500 in it for the cause," Donovan explained.

You can donate to the Jefferson Orphan Fund at any Tri-City National Bank.