Visitation Being Held For Mother Killed In Church Shooting

Posted at 1:06 PM, Sep 27, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-27 19:35:23-04

A public visitation has been set for the mother shot and killed in the parking lot outside an Antioch church.

Melanie Crow Smith died on Sunday. She was getting ready to drive away from Burnette Chapel Church of Christ when a gunman shot and killed her in the parking lot.

Three days later, family, friends and coworkers have gathered to remember her.

Depending on who you ask, she was an employee who understood the meaning of "team." She was a mother with imperfections but never failed short of loving her children. She was a woman who found joy again by finding her faith in God.

It’s been a tough few days but today, the focus isn't on the man who pulled the trigger or even her death - but on the life she lived and the legacy she leaves behind.  

Her children chose not to learn more about the suspect, Emanuel Samson.

"There's no understanding, why he did it. Everybody is looking for why, why, why. There's no understanding evil, there's no understanding hate," her daughter, Breanna, told NewsChannel 5.

Melanie's funeral will be held Thursday starting at noon. A GoFundMe has been set up to help the family with final expenses. Click here for more. 

Her employer, ChanceLight Behavioral Health, Therapy & Education, released the following  statement: 

The ChanceLight family is deeply saddened by the death Sunday of our colleague and friend Melanie L. Smith, a follow-up specialist in our Behavioral Health Central Billing Office.
Melanie was very kind and sweet-spirited. It was clear she loved her family and she showed that love every day. Melanie brought a smile with her to work every day. She always had kind words for her co-workers, and thought of them as her second family. Melanie was dedicated to her job and to ChanceLight.
As we grieve with Melanie’s family and friends, we are reaching out to our employees. We worked with the grief counselors who were available on site, and we are meeting with employees individually and in small groups to remember Melanie and to honor her life. We have also contacted Melanie’s family to offer our sympathy and our support.
We share in the pain of this loss, and will keep all who love Melanie in our thoughts, in our prayers and in our hearts.

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