MOUNDVILLE, Ala. (WIAT) — An Alabama family is speaking out against domestic violence after a deadly Christmas day shooting.
“She was happy all the time, even when she was not happy inside, we didn’t know it, because she kept a smile on her face,” said Janice Whitt, the aunt of Tamiesure Vanhorn
Tuscaloosa police say her husband Tyrone resorted to gun violence in a misguided attempt to solve matters with his wife, all in front of their daughter.
For their 9-year-old daughter, Christmas will never be the same. Instead, it will be a reminder of the matter of minutes it took for her father to allegedly shoot her mom in front of her, tell her he loves her, and then walk a half a block to a family member’s home to tell them the same before turning the gun on himself.
“When she hit me with this, I was like what? My first thought was, not ‘Meisure!”
The loss is shock to everyone. Family gathered in the Cedar Bend mobile home park where 34-year-old Vanhorn was allegedly killed by her husband just next door to where her mother and father grieve.
“It don’t seem real man, it seems like I’m in a dream – and even though they say she gone and I know she gone, but I still got her,” said Amos Epps, her father.
The family is heartbroken, but are finding strength in a surprising place: Vanhorn’s young daughter, Tymesha Vanhorn.
“She has actually been the strongest one out of all of us, she been trying to see about everybody else, she’s going to be the glue to this family just like her mom was,” said Whitt.
But as the family ponders what more they could have done, they say some of the signs were there. They recalled the time her husband took the tires off Tamiesure’s car once he heard she wanted to leave him.
“Violence is never the answer. Love does not hurt, so if somebody has to hurt you to prove that they love you–love does not hurt,” said Alethia Minter, Vanhorn’s cousin.
But what does hurt and comfort at the same time are memories that Tamiesure left behind.
After Tamiesure was shot, she was transported to the hospital, where her daughter spent Christmas until her mother was pronounced dead before she ever got to open presents.
“The kids that were at the hospital yesterday, they were all playing their games or talking about the toys they got this or they got that and she was just sitting and saying, ‘well I hope I got this that I told mama to tell Santa to bring,’ and she didn’t know because she couldn’t get to them, but fortunately this morning she got to get into those gifts and thank God everything she asked mama to ask Santa to bring she got it.”
The family is rallying around each other during this difficult time as they make funeral arrangements – Tamiesure Vanhorn leaves behind her only daughter Tymesha, her parents, brothers, and many other family members and friends.
Click here to access the GoFundMe created to care for Tymesha.