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Family Remembers Woman Killed In Church Shooting

Law enforcement gathers around the Burnette Chapel Church of Christ on September 24, 2017 in Antioch, Tennessee. One person was killed and seven were wounded when a gunman opened fire in the church. (Joe Buglewicz/Getty Images)

By Brandon Marshall

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The woman killed in an Antioch church shooting left behind two children who remembered her as a witty and loving mom.

Melanie Crow Smith died when she was shot and killed by gunman, Emanuel Samson, at Burnette Chapel Church of Christ.

Breanna Smith, 19, and RJ Smith, 12, talked to NewsChannel 5 about their loss.

The horrible tragedy was fresh in their minds Sunday night, but they said that the family would get through it with prayer and love.

Both children said their mom taught them to pray and love for other people.

“I still pray, I’ll still pray for the rest of my life, knowing that my mom is still with me and that she’s here,” said RJ.

“It’s been a really good experience with her and I hope she knows I love her. It’s just really hard to speak too, it’s something you never expect. I thought she’d live till she’s 90 but things just don’t go the way you expect it,” RJ said.

They said Melanie had recently found a new love for God.

“She’s always been the first word that comes to mind is sassy, but also intelligent, wit was quick. She’s always been a worry, too worried, you know, a mother. Cooking, cleaning all the time, cleaning her butt off, nagging, but that’s because she cares,” Breanna said.

Breanna and her mom would sometimes go to the same church but Sunday morning Breanna went to one in La Vergne.

Breanna said she doesn’t want to know about Emanuel Samson the alleged shooter.

“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,” she said.

She said she’ll pray for him, she’s mad at him, that can’t change what he did so she’s going to try to move forward.

“We’re getting through it together, we’re a family, that’s what we do. We might have arguments, we might have fights but that means nothing, ever.

Funeral arrangements are pending.

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