La Vergne neighbors talk about the family and the neighborhood where a home was raided in connection to the Burnette Chapel Chuch of Christ shooting.
HELEN COMER/USA TODAY NETWORK-Tennessee
One hundred and thirty-seven donors raised $7,015 in one day as of about 8 p.m. Tuesday to help with final expenses of a woman who was fatally shot as she left the Burnette Chapel Church of Christ Sunday.
Melanie Crow Smith, 39, “woke up with a smile on her face and with love in her heart and got ready for church,” the Go Fund Me page reads. “If you were to ask any former coworker, family member or friend, what they remember most about Melanie, it would be her bubbly happy personality and the way she would light up a room with her smile.”
Beginning to feel ill, though, Smith exited the building shortly before the Sunday service was set to end.
The Smyrna woman approached her vehicle in the parking lot, and, by the page author’s account, apparently became the first victim of the mass shooting at the church.
A masked man – later identified as 25-year-old Emanuel Kidega Samson, of Rutherford County – shot and killed Smith in the parking lot before entering the building and wounding several others.
“We take comfort knowing where she is today,” the post on the Go Fund Me page states. “Melanie was first and foremost a child of God. She was a devoted mother and wife and loved all of her family dearly.”
Her neighbor, Sarah Musgraves, previously told the USA TODAY NETWORK – Tennessee that the “horrible tragedy (is) just senseless.”
Her family and Smith’s family had been “good friends,” and recalled her as a “sweet” and “caring” person who loved her children.
Angie Kendrick, who went to Harpeth High School with Smith, said the two met in high school on the bus. She “accepted me for who I was,” said Kendrick. “That’s just her … she loved everybody for…