“Whip smart,” col­lege stu­dent killed at Waf­fle House mourned by hun­dreds

South Florida Times - - OBITUARIES - By SHEILA BURKE

GALLATIN, Tenn. (AP) - Hun­dreds of peo­ple thronged a Ten­nessee church on Fri­day, some hug­ging and cry­ing, as they paid their re­spects for a col­lege stu­dent killed in the week­end shoot­ing ram­page at a Waf­fle House.

The line of mourn­ers wait­ing to give their con­do­lences to the fam­ily of DeEbony Groves, 21, was so long that it snaked out­side the First Bap­tist Church in Gallatin. Her par­ents and other stood in the front of the church be­side her open cas­ket. Peo­ple cried, hugged and told sto­ries of the woman who went by the nick­name of Shae (SHAY). Those who loved her wore but­tons bear­ing her pic­ture.

Groves was a se­nior at Nashville's Bel­mont Univer­sity ma­jor­ing in so­cial work. She was re­mem­bered by fam­ily mem­bers Fri­day as a vi­va­cious and out­go­ing woman. A beam­ing smile was on dis­play in so many of the pic­tures shown that were taken through­out her life, in­clud­ing one where she is hold­ing a fish that looks like she caught.

And while her cousins said she could eas­ily brighten up any room, they also de­scribed her as whip smart and some­one who ac­com­plished what­ever she set out to do.

Groves was very de­ter­mined and was a per­fec­tion­ist, her cousin, Juane­sha Ro­driguez, said.

“She did, I think, what she could do in the time she had,'' she said.

She also loved chil­dren and hated to see them hurt­ing, said her aunt, Carol Bibbs. Groves and three oth­ers were killed Sun­day by a gun­man who opened fire out­side the res­tau­rant with an AR-15 ri­fle and then stormed the res­tau­rant.

Also killed was Ak­i­lah DaSilva, a 23-yearold rap artist from An­ti­och, Joe Perez, a 20year-old who lived in Nashville and Tau­rean San­der­lin, a 29-year-old em­ployee at the res­tau­rant. Four peo­ple were in­jured.

Travis Reink­ing, 29, has been ar­rested and charged in con­nec­tion with the shoot­ing. He is fac­ing mul­ti­ple charges, in­clud­ing four counts of crim­i­nal homi­cide. A pub­lic de­fender listed as his at­tor­ney has not re­turned a mes­sage seek­ing com­ment.

Po­lice have yet to es­tab­lish a mo­tive.

PHOTO COUR­TESY OF FACE­BOOK

Hun­dreds paid re­spects to DeEbony Groves, one of four peo­ple killed at a Ten­nessee Waf­fle House.

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