GALLATIN, Tenn. — A young woman who was killed on April 22 when a gunman opened fire at a Tennessee waffle house had been singing gospel songs with a friend before the attack took place, reports state.
The funeral for DeEbony Groves, 21, was held on Saturday at First Baptist Church of Gallatin, and hundreds came to remember her life. Reports state that Groves loved to sing, and her service was filled with songs of praise to the Lord. It was how she lived—and died.
Waffle House CEO Walt Ehmer was present at the funeral this past weekend and told those gathered that he was informed that Groves was singing “Jesus Loves Me” with a friend moments before the deadly tragedy unfolded.
“We went and visited with the survivors, and they talked about the people who were in that restaurant before what happened, and specifically remembered your daughter,” he stated. “And [they] spoke of your daughter and her friend, and said that they were singing gospel songs.”
“And [one survivor] said, ‘The last thing I remember her saying was, singing Jesus Loves Me,'” he recalled.
Ehmer’s words drew applause and a “hallelujah.”
Groves’ friend, Sharita Henderson, was injured in the attack, but survived. Her aunt spoke at the service.
“If some of the last words we utter are, ‘Yes, Jesus loves me,’ what a blessing that is,” she said. “That’s all we’ve got. We have nothing else.”
Groves’ brother, DiAngelo, sang a song called “The Will of God” in memory of his sister.
Derrick Jackson, the pastor of the church, told those gathered that “wickedness will not have the last word.”
“We don’t weep as those who have no hope. We weep with the full assurance … [that] one of these good ol’ days, we will see her again,” he declared.
Groves was one of four people who were killed that Sunday morning when Travis Reinking, 29, entered the waffle house with an AR-15 and opened fire. Four others were injured.
James Shaw Jr., 29, tackled Reinking and stopped him from taking any other lives.
“He was kind of cussing while we were wrestling around. When I finally got the gun, he was cussing like I was in the wrong,” Shaw recalled to reporters. “It wasn’t any kind of talking between us; I just knew I just had to get that away from him.”
He soon fled after being disarmed, but was later captured by police.
According to The Tennessean, Reinking was only wearing a coat during the shooting, and then shed his garment and fled naked.
He now faces four counts of criminal homicide, four counts of attempted murder and one count of unlawful possession of a weapon in the commission of a felony.