One of the victims in last Sunday’s Waffle House shooting was singing “Jesus Loves Me” moments before a gunman entered the restaurant and shot her to death, along with three others.
Mourners at Saturday’s funeral service for DeEbony Groves, 21, said her last moments reflected the life she lived. The senior at Belmont University was just several weeks away from obtaining her bachelor’s degree in social work. She was known for her big smile, tender spirit and Christian faith, speakers said.
The alleged shooter, 29-year-old Travis Reinking, has been charged with four counts of criminal homicide, four counts of attempted homicide and one count of having a firearm while committing a dangerous felony.
Hundreds of people attended Groves’ funeral service Saturday at the First Baptist Church in Gallatin. Groves’ sorority sisters, members of Delta Sigma Theta, sat toward the front of the room, according to USA Today. Before the service started, they stood near Groves’ casket, locked hands and sang the sorority’s “Sweetheart Song.”
Groves was a choir member at Grace Tabernacle Christian Center and loved to sing. Her funeral service was filled with gospel music performed by family and close friends.
Groves’ brother, DiAngelo Groves, sang “The Will of God.” He said his sister used to sing it when she was in the choir.
“My heart is like all in my chest right now,” said DiAngelo Groves. “I’m not a singer … I just want to sing this for my sister.”
Waffle House CEO Walt Ehmer also spoke at the funeral service. He said survivors spoke of Groves and her friend.
“They said they were singing gospel songs,” Ehmer said. “And everybody was singing and enjoying each other.”
Sharita Henderson, a fellow sorority member, was injured in the shooting. Her aunt, Renee Hampton, spoke on her behalf at the service.
“I will cherish every smile, every laugh, every hug, every display of love,” said Hampton.
“DeEbony’s life was a display of God’s love,” she said.
Watch moments from Groves’ funeral at right.
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(AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)