RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - A Richmond community is calling for unity and healing following the tragic deaths of two beloved mothers killed in an apparent murder-suicide.
Red, black, and white balloons filled the air over the scene of the deadly crime that might have happened in the presence of the victim's young children.
It's a message coming front and center after a 2-year-old and a 4-year-old may have witnessed the murders of their own mother, Shaquenda Walker, and their grandmother, Deborah.
On Monday, Shaquenda's sisters fought tears as they tried to make sense of the death of their mother and their sister.
"She was the chain that linked everybody together," said Latanya Walker of Deborah Walker.
"She was full of life. She was fun to be around. Her pretty smile," said China Walker of her sister.
"I just couldn't believe it," said Mildred Barnes, who helped raise Shaquenda. In fact, the 24-year-old called her "mother" as well.
"When they came to me and asked me to describe her, I knew she was a victim in that house," said Barnes.
The scene unfolded at the Oliver Crossing apartments in the East-End, where friends and family gathered Monday to grieve and pray.
Pastor Timothy Kirven of Worship & Praise Church will deliver the eulogy come Friday, one that he says will call for healing and action.
"To bring hope to not just Church Hill, but Southside, the Northside and even the West End," said Kirven. "What I found out, Brent, is that horrific situations like this, they have no color. They have no ethnic group. It happens to all of us."
Investigators believe the tragic crime happened at the hands of Shaquenda's own boyfriend, who then turned the gun on himself.
"The way him and her was, you would never thought he would have done this to her," said Barnes. "They act like they were cupid. They act like they were totally in love at all times."
"I just want to say to his family, I forgive him. I forgive him for what he did," said DQ Walker.
The funeral for Shaquenda Walker and her mother Deborah will be held Friday at the Cedar Street Baptist Church.
The two children are in the care of relatives. Community leaders have started an online fundraiser to assist the family.
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