Community rallies around family of murdered mother

CBS 42

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) – Neighbors and members of the broader community gathered for a second time outside the home of the young mother who was killed by a stray bullet in Gate City earlier this week.

We’re getting a better picture of what the victim, Sheri Williams was like and what she wanted from life. Police say her life was cut short by a stray bullet in the doorway of her home, while she held her newborn son.

Her mother, Rinda Williams, says stray bullets had been fired in the direction of the home in the past.
She says Sheri Williams had recently finished school and wanted to become a police officer. She also says her daughter was afraid of the violence in Gate City and wanted to move.

It’s a heartbreaking story and paints a mental picture that has stunned the community in a town that’s seen more than its fair share of violent crime.

One neighbor who was collecting money in a jar for the family and signatures on a sympathy card says it could just as easily have been his mother.

Several neighbors we spoke with want to take a stand against crime in the Marks Village Housing Project, but they say they could use some help.
“We need more police presence and a substation would really, really help,” said Bettye Covington.

They also want more streetlights.

The Vice President Resident Counselor of Marks Village, Mario Brown, said they would need backup from the Housing Authority to eradicate crime.

“Moving is not an option for a lot of people. We have a lot of families with small children who wants to, who wants to basically leave this community and this property here, but It’s more like we’re bound here because of your income or because of your family’s circumstances maybe. So it’s like a little hell to a lot of people that live in this community,” said Brown. “I think for the most part here what happens is that the women that allow the guys to sell drugs out of their house or what have you should be at least put out, should be removed from the property and the ones with all the disturbances should be removed, however that just doesn’t happen all the time. It’s, it’s almost like it’s overlooked sometimes and we need those people out of here, everyone that would cause harm to this community and families- out. We need them out.”

They don’t want to release any more balloons for anyone else’s daughter, mother, neighbor, or friend.

“We can take care of what little we got, we can feel like we’re somebody, because I do,” said Christine Wynn.

The Williams family has been struggling to find a way to pay for the funeral and it sounds as though the community is responding to their needs.

One of the organizers of the Thursday vigil said that a memorial service is tenatively planned for Saturday May. 11th at Mt. Lebanon Baptist Church in Avondale, but firm details will be announced later on.

Organizers of the Thursday vigil said another gathering is planned outside Sheri Williams home on Friday, May 3rd at 6 p.m.

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