The organizers of an online fundraiser benefitting the family of a man stabbed to death at a downtown Vancouver Starbucks have closed GoFundMe donations after nearly $200,000 poured in.
The money is being transferred to the family of Paul Stanley Schmidt, the majority of it being held in a trust for his three-year-old daughter. Donations can still be made by reaching out directly to the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Garden Society of Vancouver — whose executive director is close to the family.
“As we are still mourning the death of Paul Schmidt, there have been at least three high-profile random and violent senseless stabbings in the Lower mainland and we cannot begin to make sense of why this is happening to good upstanding citizens,” the GoFundMe organizer said in an update Monday.
Since Schmidt was killed on March 26, a 17-year-old boy was stabbed to death on a Surrey bus, and a man was severely injured in a throat-slashing aboard another Surrey bus.
“This devastating tragedy and the many other horrific incidences that followed in the last several weeks has raised serious concerns around the issues of mental health and wellness, respect for one another and our value systems, the effects of the pandemic, the way we socially interact with each other in a digitally dependant society and the unintended consequences that stem from isolation,” the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Garden Society wrote.
Schmidt was attacked by a stranger on a Starbucks patio at Pender and Granville streets, apparently after asking the man to stop vaping near his toddler. The man stabbed Schmidt, who crouched down before collapsing on the pavement.
Schmidt’s wife and daughter witnessed him being killed, and the violence was captured on video by a TikToker and shared widely online.
“Paul was just out for a coffee with his family,” his mother, Kathy Adams Schmidt, told Daily Hive. “[He didn’t] deserve to die.”
Inderdeep Singh Gosal, 32, has been charged with second-degree murder in connection with the attack. He appeared in court this month. A memorial was also erected outside the Starbucks Reserve where the attack happened, condemning the violence.
“On behalf of the family, thank you all for your generosity, words of support and kindness — whether it is $5 or $2000, it truly means so much to them as they have explicitly expressed,” the fundraiser organizers wrote.