Teen who egged Australian politician donates $70,000 to New Zealand shooting victims

By Christopher Brito

/ CBS News

"Egg Boy" to donate funds to New Zealand victims

The Australian teenager who egged an anti-Muslim politician has donated more than $70,000 to the victims in the terror attacks at two New Zealand mosques. Will Connolly received donations worldwide for legal aid after he cracked an egg over the head of former senator Fraser Anning in March. Tuesday, Connolly announced he's giving it all to charity.

"Finally!!! After a huge amount of red tape,$99,922.36 has today been transferred to the Christchurch Foundation and Victims Support," the 17-year-old wrote on Instagram. The final tally of GoFundMe donations rose to $102,494 Australian dollars, which is about $70,915 in U.S. dollars.

View this post on Instagram

Finally!!! After a huge amount of red tape,$99,922.36 has today been transferred to the Christchurch Foundation and Victims Support. For those of you who don’t know, there were 2 Go Fund Me pages set up to help cover the cost of my legal fees and to ‘buy more eggs’. Gratefully, Gordon Legal acted probono for me so I don’t have any legal fees. I decided to donate all monies to help provide some relief to the victims of the massacre… it wasn’t mine to keep. I want to thank Corey and @sajjad12345 who set up the funds and every single person who donated to the money and made this possible. To the victims of the Tragedy, I whole heartedly hope that this can bring some relief to you. Keep spreading the love. ❤️🙌🏻

A post shared by Will Connolly (@willconnolly__) on

The money came from two separate GoFundMe pages set up to cover the cost of Connolly's legal fees and "buy more eggs." However, his legal representation acted pro-bono and didn't have to cover any fees himself.

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"I decided to donate all monies to help provide some relief to the victims of the massacre… it wasn't mine to keep," he wrote. "To the victims of the Tragedy, I whole heartedly hope that this can bring some relief to you. Keep spreading the love."

GoFundMe's Australia regional manager, Nicola Britton, told CBS News the original fundraiser intended for Connolly collected just over $55,000 (USD), which was transferred to Christchurch Foundation; the other fundraiser raised little more than $15,000 (USD) and it was sent to Victims Support.

"The GoFundMe trust, safety and happiness teams worked closely with Will, his family and the campaign organisers throughout the donation process," Britton said.

Victims Support confirmed in a statement that it received its portion of the money. Christchurch Foundation has not yet confirmed the amount to CBS News.

Fifty-one people were killed and dozens of others were wounded when a white supremacist gunman opened fire in two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, on March 16.

Anning, who was voted out of his seat during Australia's May 18 general election, blamed Muslim immigration for the attacks, quickly receiving widespread condemnation. While he was giving a television interview, Connolly smashed an egg on the side of Anning's head. Anning responded with punches and Connolly was tackled by security. The teen was arrested, but he was later released without charge.

Controversial Independent Senator Fraser Anning has been caught on camera punching a young protester after the boy cracked an egg on the back of his head at an event in Moorabbin. A 17-year-old boy was arrested and released without charge pending investigation. #auspol #7News pic.twitter.com/lbXLDwfS96

— 7NEWS Melbourne (@7NewsMelbourne) March 16, 2019

The footage went viral, earning Connolly praise online as an unlikely champion of the victims. GoFundMe fundraisers emerged to help him with any legal fees, and he vowed to give a majority of the money to the victims. Now, he's proceeded to give those affected all of it.

In the months following the mosque shootings, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern introduced new gun restrictions in the country and has spoken out against the way the gunman was able to use social media to promote his views.

First published on May 29, 2019 / 6:47 PM

© 2019 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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