Best Buy location holds fundraiser for Avondale woman shot, killed while working

Posted at 9:39 PM, Mar 04, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-05 00:31:41-05

Employees at a Chandler Best Buy were working to try and make sure the good in the world wins out in an evil situation. 

Their co-worker, Melissa Mendez, was gunned down on Monday while she was working at the company's Avondale location. 

"The only thing that I've seen come out of this that is inspiring is that we've all rallied together," Kasey Wemyss said.

Wemyss is a Geek Squad supervisor at the Chandler location. She did not know Mendez personally.

She also was not working in Mendez's store when police say 27-year-old Henry Cota Junior came in with a plan. Avondale Police believe he shot and killed Mendez before turning the gun on himself.

His alleged plot left two children without both their parents. 

"That day here, we were all on edge," Wemyss explained. "And I think we've been on edge, you know, a bit ever since." 

But, despite the distance from each store, Wemyss and her team are still feeling the pain. 

"We're all so close," Wemyss said. "So... it really is a big family of blue shirts."

It is because of that bond that the store decided to organize a fundraiser for Melissa on Saturday with food, a place for people to bring donations and also a chance for the community to grieve. 

And Melissa's family is so appreciative of Best Buy's efforts. Mendez's aunt spoke to ABC15 on Wednesday.

"It's relieved a lot of stress off the family; financial burden," Christina Hardyway said. "It's helped tremendously and we're thankful for everything everybody's done."

Wemyss said their six-hour fundraiser brought in nearly $2,000 for the family — something she is very proud of. 

"Hopefully we can provide a better future for her kids and do what we can for the family to be as supportive as possible," Wemyss said.

For people who were unable to attend the fundraiser Saturday but would like to help out, donate here.