'So cruel!' Why Alex From Target's Mom Is In Tears

It's the photo that turned a checkout boy into a check-him-out boy - and an instant global celebrity!

Sixteen-year-old Alex Lee still can't believe how fast he became famous when a photo snapped by a customer at a Target store in Texas went viral last year!

He told INSIDE EDITION in an interview, "I was so shocked! I went back to work one day, and I was only on the cash register for ten minutes and they had to take me to the back. Everyone was noticing me and every person who came through my line asked for a picture, so it would take too long!"

He couldn't be happier with his skyrocketing popularity as "Alex from Target."

He added, "I'm at two million followers on Instagram, and I actually went up 20,000 since last night!"

During the interview, his mom cried. So, why is his mom crying? Because there's a dark side to Alex's sudden fame in the form of vicious reactions on social media - even death threats!

One reads: "Alex from Target, I'll find you and I will kill you."

Believe it or not, others are even worse than that and just too disturbing to share.

His mom told INSIDE EDITION, "To see people be so hateful to a very, very kind person, that part was so disappointing to me."

Now, Alex's checkout days at Target are over - he gave his notice. But, he's still recognized wherever he goes!

One girl approached him and asked, "Can I get a picture with you?"

He responded, "Yeah."

Alex is hoping to ride his fame into a career as a performer. One YouTube video shows him entertaining his fans!

He told INSIDE EDITION, "And then they started chanting 'take it off!' And I knew I was going to have to take my shirt off."

An amazing turn of events for a kid who used to work at Target until one picture changed his life.

Alex concluded, "It was almost like it was too good to be true."