Kim Fairbanks, Death – Kim Fairbanks died a hero. That’s the message her daughter wants to spread after losing her in Monday’s tragic shooting on Berkshire Avenue in Springfield. “She always kind of joked around saying that she would die for her grandchildren. That’s how she was going to go out and I really hate to say that that’s our reality now,” said Alyssa Straight.
Straight remembered her mother, Kim Fairbanks, as someone who loved her family and would do anything for them. “She was a mom to everyone and she had six beautiful grandchildren, so besides the three that were in the house that day, she has three others who are going to miss her very, very dearly because she was involved in all of our lives,” Straight added.
Straight told Western Mass News that her mother died on Monday protecting her family from Victor Nieves, the gunman who authorities said forced his way into the downstairs apartment on Berkshire Avenue in Springfield and opened fire. On Wednesday, there was a memorial of flowers and candles outside the home in her memory.
“She provided the ultimate sacrifice for her grandchildren and she was trying to lead the shooter away from them and that’s how she died. She died a hero,” Straight noted. She fondly shared her favorite memory when her mom flew out to Montana for the birth of her son. “I had actually had 12 pregnancy losses before my son, so this was a really big deal,” Straight explained. “She would just sit there and be like ‘We’re having a baby!’ and just keep on saying that all day.”
A GoFundMe has been set up for the family to help pay for funeral expenses, medical costs, and more and Straight is hoping everyone can be like Fairbanks. “She loved everyone. Be a good person to your neighbor, to all your family, hold your family tight,” Straight said. Monday’s fatal shooting remains under investigation.