Thousands Raised for El Cajon Rampage Victim

One participant even offered the young mother free rent for a year

By Tony Shin and R. Stickney
|  Friday, Aug 26, 2011  |  Updated 7:22 AM PDT
View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print
Pictures of the Collier Family Emerge

Just two of the images Alyssa Rakov has released showing her mother and her daughter.

advertisement
Photos and Videos
More Photos and Videos

Hours after a community fundraiser for an El Cajon woman whose mother and child were killed in a shooting and house fire earlier this week, officials positively identified the two victims.

Alyssa Rakov was overwhelmed by what she saw when she walked into a private room in the back of Hooleys Irish Pub and Grill in Rancho San Diego Thursday night.

There were bags filled with clothing, household goods and most importantly, pictures of her mother Beverli and 14-month-old daughter Rhilee.

Rakov lost nearly all of her possessions when her estranged husband, Kevin Collier, killed their daughter and Rakov's mother on Sunday, and then burned down her childhood home on Prince Street.

On Friday morning, the county medical examiner said Beverli Rakov, Rhilee Collier and Kevin Collier died from gunshot wounds to the head. Kevin Collier's death was ruled a suicide.

In the days before the fundraiser, Alyssa Rakov pleaded with family and friends to give her any copies of pictures of her mother and daughter to replace the ones lost in the fire.

Her wish came true.

She also got four truckloads of items from caring people who just wanted to help her out.  Hooleys also gave her 25 percent of the restaurants profits from Thursday night.

One man even offered to pay for her rent on a new apartment for up to a year.

She told NBC 7 that she couldn't be more grateful and that the donations would also help her friend Lacie Lowe.

She also lived in the home on Prince Street with her young son Aiden.  They lost everything in the fire.

Rakov released this statement at the fundraiser.

"I just want to thank everyone for all their support. It amazes me how much people have come together. With this continued support, I will get through this, one minute at a time. I will not let him break me. I will be strong for my mom and my little monster because my mom would have been strong for me. Again, thank you everyone for being there for me. I couldn't do any of this without help and support from everyone around me."

Investigators say 32-year-old Kevin James Collier opened fire on police on Sunday, after officers came to the home to respond to a domestic violence call. After firing at the officers, investigators say Collier ran back inside the home and set the house on fire.

El Cajon police officer Jarred Slocum is recovering in the hospital from a gunshot wound to the head he suffered during the rampage.

Earlier Sunday, Beverli Rakov had swapped text messages with a friend.

“Police are here. My son-in-law has taken my grandbaby and disappeared,” Rakov texted her friend of 30 years around 8 a.m. Sunday.

“I’ve never been so scared in my life Heather,” another text said. “He has guns and he’s going to shoot my daughter.”

“He has lost his f—in mind,” she wrote.

Court documents show Alyssa Rakov filed for divorce and full custody of their daughter just days before the shooting citing irreconcilable differences. Those documents also show she wanted full custody of Rhilee. 

Friends of Alyssa Rakov say Collier hacked her Facebook page and started posted things like "I plan to sit and take all my ex's money."

An ominous post late Saturday night read "I have HUGE plans for tomorrow, so have a good night."

Get the latest headlines sent to your inbox!
View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print
Leave Comments
Follow Us
Sign up to receive news and updates that matter to you.
Send Us Your Story Tips
Check Out