Mother of Waffle House victim accepts her college graduation diploma

A broken-hearted mother, Shirl Baker, walked across the stage at Belmont University today to accept the college degree that her daughter DeEbony Groves worked so hard to earn before she was gunned down in a Nashville Waffle House, CNN reports.

Groves was a student at the school and an avid basketball player who studied social work. She was weeks away from graduation before the tragic shooting that claimed her life.

These are the victims of the Waffle House shooting: 

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Waffle House shooting victims
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Waffle House shooting victims

DeEbony Groves, 21

Photo Credit: Facebook 

Joe R. Perez, 20

Photo Credit: Facebook

Akilah DaSilva, 23

Photo Credit: Courtesy of the Dasilva Family 

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“Almost two weeks ago, our community suffered an unimaginable loss,” said Robert Fisher, President of Belmont University.“While our hearts were broken, today we have the chance to celebrate DeEbony’s life together.”

In honoring Groves with a social work scholarship in her name, Fisher said “her legacy will live on” through the scholarship which will “provide financial support and encouragement to generations of social work majors at Belmont University.”

Groves brother Di’Angelo, was supposed to march across the stage with his sister. Teary-eyed he accepted his diploma too and he and his mom received s standing ovation from the audience.

“She was a brilliant young lady, very intelligent and a very hard worker,” said Gallatin High School coach Kim Kendrick, according to the Tennessean. “She was a very likable young lady. She was one of three seniors on her team, and she was a great role model for the other players because of her hard work and dedication to her studies and to her school.”

A life cut short by a mass shooter

Travis Reinking sat in his pickup truck outside of a Nashville Waffle House and cased it before taking his AR-15 rifle and gunning down four people before he was stopped by James Shaw Jr. Groves’ close friend Akilah DaSilva also died in the attack.

Photos of Reinking: 

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Waffle House shooting suspect Travis Reinking
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Waffle House shooting suspect Travis Reinking
Waffle House shooting suspect Travis Reinking was taken into custody by Metro Nashville Police on Monday, April 23, 2018.

(Photo: Metro Nashville PD)
Travis Reinking appears at a hearing Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2018, in Nashville, Tenn. Reinking is charged with killing four people during a shooting at a Waffle House restaurant in Nashville in April. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
Travis Reinking, 29, of Morton, Illinois, is shown in this undated photo obtained April 22, 2018. Reinking is wanted as a person of interest by police after a fatal shooting at a Waffle House restaurant near Nashville, Tennessee, U.S., April 22, 2018. Metro Nashville Police Department/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY
UNSPECIFIED DATE AND LOCATION: (EDITORS NOTE: Best quality available) In this handout provided by the Metro Nashville Police Department, the AR-15 assault rifle used in a shooting at a Nashville-area Waffle House that left four dead and four wounded is pictured. The suspected gunman, Travis Reinking, 29, of Illinois, is still at large. (Photo by Metro Nashville Police Department via Getty Images)
Travis Reinking appears in a booking photo provided by the Metro Nashville Police Department in Nashville, Tennessee, U.S., April 23, 2018. Metro Nashville Police Department/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. THIS PICTURE WAS PROCESSED BY REUTERS TO ENHANCE QUALITY. AN UNPROCESSED VERSION HAS BEEN PROVIDED SEPARATELY
Travis Reinking, left, enters a courtroom for a hearing Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2018, in Nashville, Tenn. Reinking is charged with killing four people during a shooting at a Waffle House restaurant in Nashville in April. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
Metro Davidson County police search the apartment complex where Waffle House shooting suspect, Travis Reinking, reportedly lives near Nashville, Tennessee, U.S. April 22, 2018. REUTERS/Harrison McClary
The truck of Travis Reinking, the suspected shooter, is loaded on a trailer ready to be towed from the scene of a fatal shooting at a Waffle House restaurant near Nashville, Tennessee, U.S. April 22, 2018. REUTERS/Harrison McClary
Travis Reinking, center, enters a courtroom for a hearing Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2018, in Nashville, Tenn. Reinking is charged with killing four people during a shooting at a Waffle House restaurant in Nashville in April. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
Metro Davidson County police search the apartment complex where Waffle House shooting suspect, Travis Reinking, reportedly lives near Nashville, Tennessee, U.S. April 22, 2018. REUTERS/Harrison McClary
Travis Reinking, left, talks with attorney Joan Lawson during a hearing Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2018, in Nashville, Tenn. Reinking is charged with killing four people during a shooting at a Waffle House restaurant in Nashville in April. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
Waffle House shooting suspect Travis Reinking was taken into custody by Metro Nashville Police on Monday, April 23, 2018.

(Photo: Metro Nashville PD)
NASHVILLE, TN - APRIL 22: Law enforcement investigate at the Discovery at Mountain View Apartments complex where a man believed to be suspected gunman Travis Reinking was spotted on April 22, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee. A gunman entered a nearby Waffle House and opened fire and killed 4 killed and injured two during the shooting. (Photo by Jason Davis/Getty Images)
Travis Reinking appears at a hearing Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2018, in Nashville, Tenn. Reinking is charged with killing four people during a shooting at a Waffle House restaurant in Nashville in April. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
NASHVILLE, TN - APRIL 22: A sign for the Discovery at Mountain View Apartments complex where a man believed to be suspected gunman Travis Reinking was spotted on April 22, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee. A gunman entered a nearby Waffle House and opened fire and killed 4 killed and injured two during the shooting. (Photo by Jason Davis/Getty Images)
Travis Reinking appears in a booking photo provided by the Metro Nashville Police Department in Nashville, Tennessee, U.S., April 23, 2018. Metro Nashville Police Department/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY.
Travis Reinking, right, is quieted by attorney Jon Wing, left, and a courtroom official after Reinking tried to speak during a hearing Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2018, in Nashville, Tenn. Reinking is charged with killing four people during a shooting at a Waffle House restaurant in Nashville in April. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
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Belmont University released a statement saying:

“The entire campus community is shocked and devastated by how such senseless violence has taken the life of this young woman, an individual full of immense potential,” the university said in a statement released through its communications department.

“We extend our thoughts and prayers to her family and friends as they come to terms with unimaginable grief.”

Groves was 21 years old. 

The post Mother of Waffle House Victim Accepts Her College Graduation Diploma appeared first on theGrio.

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