The aspiring Hamilton chef who was fatally shot in his home while trying to protect his girlfriend will be farewelled in a funeral service tomorrow.
Robert Nelson, 23, died after he was shot in the early hours of Sunday morning trying to protect Kahlee Marfell, his girlfriend of four years, as they ran from a gunman at Marfell's family home in Melville. Marfell and another friend were seriously injured and remain at Waikato Hospital.
A Givealittle page was set up on Sunday to raise funds for Robert Nelson's funeral because his family was "not in a position to pay for his funeral and not the kind of send-off such heroism deserves".
Aimee Laing, who worked alongside Nelson at Keystone in Hamilton and set up the Givealittle page, said she and the family had been amazed by how quickly their target amount of $5000 had been reached.
By Monday night $5000 had been raised and as of Friday it had surpassed $7000.
Laing said the family were blown away by the support and the well-wishes they've had.
"I'm just really blown away by how quickly it has happened and some people have really given a lot ... it's just really, really amazing."
Nelson was a budding chef with a promising career who had worked at Keystone with his sister Erin. His mother Dannette Vrijs and younger brother Koenraad Nelson all worked at restaurants owned by the Lawrenson Group.
Any money left over after the funeral expenses would go towards any other bills and expenses accrued by the family while they had time off work and grieved for the much-loved, friendly and well-liked guy.
Vrijs told the Herald earlier this week she was still coming to terms with the awful fact she had lost her "hard-working and fun-loving" eldest son forever.
Marfell posted on Facebook today that she was trying to get herself better after being shot at a number of times so that she could farewell the love of her life.
The funeral service will be held at the Chapel at the Newstead Cemetery, Hamilton, tomorrow at 1pm.