James 'Tripp' Battle murder: thousands raised to support his family and the children of main suspect Andy Avalos

(YouCaring/Tripp Battle Memorial Trust)Pastor James Tripp Battle (left) with his wife, children and parents

A memorial trust has been set up after the tragic murder of Pastor James 'Tripp' Battle to raise funds for his surviving family. 

Pastor Battle, 31, was one of three victims of a shooting spree in Bradenton, Florida, last Thursday.

Main suspect Andres 'Andy' Avalos, 33, was arrested on Saturday and charged with the murder of his wife Amber Avalos, her friend Denise Potter, and Pastor Battle. 

According to a police affidavit, he has confessed to carrying out the murders.  The affidavit revealed particularly horrific details about the death of Amber Avalos, who led the children's ministry at the church pastored by Battle - Bayshore Baptist Church. 

The document stated that she was found by police hanging from a cord in the laundry room of the Avalos residence around 10 miles away from the church.

She had suffered severe facial injuries and a gunshot wound to the chest, according to the Associated Press.  Potter was found lying in a hallway with gunshot wounds.

The document detailed that the Avaloses' four-year-old son was at home when the killings occurred and that he told police there was no one else present at the time.  

Police believe Avalos killed the two women first before going to the church.  Battle's wife, Joy, told police he came to the church, where she works as the secretary, and was "rambling on about how the world was evil" for around 20 minutes. 

He then reportedly went outside into the church courtyard where he encountered Pastor Battle.  Joy described hearing gunshots and seeing her husband fall to the ground. 

The couple have two young children, 5-year-old Sophie and 3-year-old Joshua, and with Joy now being left to raise them on her own, the Tripp Battle Memorial Trust has been set up with the goal of raising $30,000 to assist them.  

The fund has been established on the YouCaring website by Joy and friends of the family. and funds will be released on a "case-by-case" basis where approved by two trustees.  

One of the trustees is Joy's father.  The other has not been identified but is described as being a non-family member.  

"We know that God will provide for Joy and the children and we would like to be a tool in the method by which God provides. As you give, please pray for Joy and the children and the other children who lost their parent(s) in this tragedy," the appeal reads.  

Over $10,000 has been raised for the family so far.  

Another fundraising page has been set up to support the children of the Avaloses and Denise Potter as well. The Battle/Avalos/Potter Fund has raised more than $20,000 towards the goal of $40,000.

Page creator Tim Brister revealed in an update to the crowdfunding page that churches had "jumped in" to give the appeal a boost.  

"Every donation, big or small, is significant because you are giving to families who are suffering greatly in the wake of this terrible tragedy. But your gift is letting them know they are not alone!" he wrote. 

To donate to the Tripp Battle Memorial Trust click here

To donate to the Battle/Avalos/Potter Fund click here

Lifestyle