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Mother of firefighter shot at Applebee's: 'She would give anyone the shirt off her back'

Arlydia Bufford's firefighting family held a fundraiser to help with her medical bills. If you would like to donate, you can find a link in this story

OVERLAND, Mo. — Hundreds of people showed their support Sunday for the Kinloch firefighter who was shot and critically injured Monday at a St. John's Applebee's.

"This is so overwhelming, it definitely keeps me afloat," said Arlydia Buffort's mother Rebecca.

But Sunday was much bigger than bratwursts, burgers and steaks.

"I mean she would give you the shirt off her back, she grew up wanting to be a firefighter and actually had almost a full ride to Lamar Owens College for softball and she chose firefighting over that," Rebecca said of her daughter. 

Now, a family of fellow firefighters, friends and other first responders are stepping in to help with her Medical bills after Arlydia was shot at Applebees Monday in St. John. 

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"Us being the last volunteer department in St. Louis County, we're not union so every little bit that we get is going to go to make sure when she comes out on the other side she won't have to worry about medical bills," explained Mark Fantroy with the Kinloch Fire Department. 

Her firefighting family said this huge show of support Sunday is only the beginning in their calling to help one of their own. 

"You know, it's very disheartening and we hope and pray she's able to make a full recovery, especially for someone who is only 20 years old and just getting started, so for it to be cut short would be tragic," said April Cayce with Rebound 911, a non-profit that focuses on the mental wellbeing of first responders.

Seeing a whole community who's Arlydia Strong only makes her mother more confident her daughter will keep fighting.

"She's a go-getter, she stops at nothing and never shuts down," Rebecca said.

If you didn't get a chance to make it out to the fundraiser today there's still time to donate, just click here. 

You can also make a check out to Rebound 911 and mail it to P.O. Box 179373, Richmond Heights MO, 63117.

Monday's shooting also took the life of Kimberly Ratliff Penton, her best friend was also injured in the shooting. 

28-year-old Courtney Washington of St. Ann has been charged with first-degree murder and two other crimes.

Previous coverage:

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