The mother of a young woman who was fatally wounded in the horrific Nashville Waffle House shooting recently received her daughter’s college diploma on her behalf.
During the incredibly emotional graduation ceremony, Shirl Baker, the mom of 21-year-old DeEbony Groves, walked up to the podium to be presented with her late daughter’s hard-earned academic achievement. Groves had majored in social work at Belmont University.
“Almost two weeks ago, our community suffered an unimaginable loss,” Belmont University President Robert Fisher said at the ceremony, as reported by the Daily Mail. “While our hearts were broken, today we have the chance to celebrate DeEbony’s life together.”
Following the horrific attack, incredible reports emerged detailing Groves’ last moments. As she lay dying, she broke out in worship, and began to start singing the hymn “Yes, Jesus Loves Me.”
“That’s the higher power that inspired the last reported words of DeEbony Groves,” Fisher said. “She and her friend were singing, ‘Yes, Jesus Loves Me’ just before she departed that Waffle House for heaven’s gate.”
DeEbony Groves was one of four people who was shot to death on April 22 when a deranged gunman opened fire on people outside the Tennessee restaurant before entering the premises and continuing his savage attack. Walt Ehmer, the restaurant chain’s CEO, revealed the stunning detail at the young woman’s funeral, which was held at First Baptist Church in Gallatin on April 28.
“We went and visited with the survivors, and they talked about the people who were in that restaurant before what happened happened, and specifically remembered your daughter,” Ehmer explained to the woman’s family. “And [they] spoke of your daughter and her friend, and said they were singing gospel songs. And everybody was singing and enjoying each other and she said, ‘The last thing I remember her saying was, singing ‘Jesus Loves Me.'”
“All I can tell you is that our Waffle House family is hurting for you, and with you,” Ehmer added in his emotional address, according to CNN.
Ehmer also offered words of comfort, condolence and hope to the family and friends of this much-loved young lady.
“You will get through this because I know by watching this is a very strong, faith-filled community,” he declared.
Shooting suspect Travis Reinking is believed to have severe mental health issues and reportedly suffers from delusions. He has been charged with four counts of criminal homicide, as reported by CBS News.
As the Tennessean reported, Reinking will undergo extensive mental health review prior to his case moving forward:
“General Sessions Judge Michael Mondelli approved public defender Jon Wing’s request for an outpatient “forensic” exam Monday during the first major court date in the case. The spokesman for the district attorney’s office confirmed that would include a mental health evaluation.”
Meanwhile, investigators have seized several electronics from Reinking’s apartment, including a GoPro camera and laptops.
It was a miracle that more people weren’t killed or injured in the attack. Much of this is down to 29-year-old Shaw Jr., who somehow managed to rush the shooter and take the rifle out of his hands. “It feels selfish,” Shaw said of being called a hero. “I was just trying to get myself out. I saw the opportunity and pretty much took it.”