A mother was shot and killed on Tuesday while holding her 1-year-old daughter in her arms, Fox13 reported, with the gunman then taking his own life.
Officers discovered the bodies of Samara Ward, 22, and Latravius “Eli” White, 24, on the evening of Feb. 6 in the Memphis suburb of Raleigh, Tennessee, after responding to a report of gunfire.
Ward was pronounced dead at the scene, while White was taken to hospital, where he later died from his wounds.
Family members reportedly told the news service that as Ward was holding her daughter in her arms, White pulled out a gun and shot her, before shooting himself.
White was the child’s father.
“We really can’t explain what’s really going on,” family member Gregory Robinson told Fox13 reporters. “It was just hard for everybody, and it’s just a memory that we are all going to be stuck with.”
According to WREG, citing investigators, a domestic incident sparked the deadly murder-suicide.
“She was a caring person; she was a funny person; she was a loving person; she liked to have fun; she was joyful,” the victim’s brother said.
The shooting happened on the 4200 block of Troost Drive, near the intersection of Egypt Central Road and Raleigh Millington Road, according to WMCActionNews5.
“My best friend died in my arms,” the victim’s friend Keaira Smith told Fox13 reporters.
“Whether they know it or not, I feel her presence,” the victim’s brother said.
Friends of the deceased shared condolences on social media.
“My heart is truly broken. I’m just now finding out that Samara Deshay Ward’s life was snatched away from her on yesterday,” wrote friend Sincere Palm-Boyd. “Now her daughter have to grow up with no mother because of someone’s else selfishness!!! I’m praying for the Ward Family.”
The victim’s family told reporters they plan to hold a candlelight vigil Thursday at the Ashton Hills apartment parking lot, where the young mother was slain.