One of the victims in the Waffle House shooting in Nashville was singing “Jesus Loves Me” moments before a gunman entered the restaurant and shot her to death, along with three others.
Mourners at the 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 mother of DeEbony Groves, 21-year-old fatally shot at a Waffle House in Tennessee, accepted her daughter’s diploma during Belmont University’s graduation ceremony. https://t.co/wj4lQ4NL7H
DeEbony’s brother, Di’Angelo Groves, also received his diploma on Saturday. pic.twitter.com/cTGfVBs57x
— ABC News (@ABC) May 6, 2018
Groves and her brother, DiAngelo, were awarded their degrees from Belmont Universit this week. The two planned to celebrate their mutual graduations together and her brother was in tears as he crossed the state. DeEbony’s mother, Shiri Baker, accepted her daughter’s degree in social work on her behalf.
“Almost two weeks ago, our community suffered an unimaginable loss,” said Robert Fisher, President of Belmont University. “While our hearts were broken, today we have the chance to celebrate DeEbony’s life together.”
Hundreds of people attended Groves’ funeral service last week 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. DeEbony’s friend, Akilah DaSilva was also killed. Henderson’s 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.
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