Waffle House shooting victims include college students, employee
All four victims of the Waffle House shooting Sunday were young people of color.
They died at the hands of a seminude gunman who got out of his truck, walked into the Antioch Waffle House and began shooting until a man wrestled the gun away from him.
The oldest victim was 29 and the youngest was 20. Two of them were college students. One was a Waffle House employee.
Here’s what we know about the victims:
Taurean C. Sanderlin
Taurean C. Sanderlin, 29, of Goodlettsville, was an employee of the restaurant who was fatally wounded as he stood outside, police said.
Joe R. Perez
Joe R. Perez, 20, of Nashville, was a restaurant patron who was fatally wounded as he stood outside, police said.
DeEbony Groves, 21, of Gallatin, was fatally wounded inside the restaurant.
She was out with her Delta Sigma Theta sorority sisters before going to Waffle House, according to CNN affiliate WKRN-TV.
Groves was a senior majoring in social work at Belmont University, according to the school’s student newspaper, Belmont Vision.
The newspaper quoted Belmont President Robert Fisher as saying, “I am shocked and devastated by how such senseless violence has taken the life of this young woman, an individual full of immense potential.”
The school will be offering counseling, according to CNN affiliate WTVF-TV.
Akilah DaSilva, 23, of Antioch, was critically wounded inside the restaurant and later died at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
He had been at the restaurant with his older brother and girlfriend, Shanita Waggoner, 21, according to CNN affiliate WTVF-TV. Waggoner was also injured in the shooting.
DaSilva, known by his stage name “Natrix,” was passionate about music, his mother, Shaundelle Brooks, told CNN affiliate WTVF-TV.
He was a student pursuing a career in musical engineering at Middle Tennessee State University, Brooks said.
“He spoke through his creativity and he entertained the world through his music,” she said.
Cousin Kareem DaSilva said he and Akilah DaSilva attended middle and high school together and last saw each other over Christmas break when Kareem came home from college in Memphis.
He called Akilah a “genius,” especially when it came to computers and music, and said he was active in the Nashville music scene.
“He was always at other people’s events. He was always shooting music videos,” Kareem DaSilva said. “It makes me a little bit sad that we weren’t able to see all that he could have done.”
Akila DaSilva also was a hard worker, Kareem DaSilva recalled, explaining that his cousin once started a consulting business to help artists with social media and branding.
“He never gave up, and he was quick to learn. He was very impressive,” Kareem DaSilva said.
A vigil will be held Monday night, he said.