Vigil held in honor of Berry

Published 11:40 pm Thursday, May 14, 2015

Lashanda Smith, sister of Taffine Berry wipes away tears from Barbara Smith, Berry’s aunt, during the vigil held for Berry Thursday night.--Blake Deshazo

Lashanda Smith, sister of Taffine Berry wipes away tears from Barbara Smith, Berry’s aunt, during the vigil held for Berry Thursday night.–Blake Deshazo

As the sun started to set over Selma Thursday, dozens gathered outside of a lounge on Marie Foster Street for a candlelight vigil for Taffine Berry.

Family, friends, elected officials and law enforcement officers stood outside of the very place Taffine and her husband, Tra, were shot.

The Selma Police Department have yet to make an arrest for the shooting that claimed Taffine’s life and injured her husband, and the family wants some sort of closure.

Email newsletter signup

“I just want our family to get some closure because it is eating at my family bad,” said Lashanda Smith, Taffine’s younger sister. “My mom just can’t take it any more. It is just tearing her apart. We just want whoever is out there that knows anything to come forward and help give our family justice.”

Taffine meant more to Lashanda than words can describe.

“My sister means a whole lot. She means so much to me that no one would even understand,” Lashanda said.

To her, there were none quite as kind and giving as Taffine.

“Taffine was a very sweet person. She was like an old person that always shared her love and was always willing to lend a hand,” Lashanda said. “She was always giving and loving. She was the sweetest rose you would ever pick out of a garden.”

As the sky darkened, everyone raised their candles. Tears were shed and memories were shared.

“There is so much that I can remember. The funniest thing is when she realized I learned how to drive before she did,” Lashanda laughed with a tear in her eye. “When we let her drive, she said the dashboard needs to go down, and I told her the dashboard couldn’t go down and she needed to get some pillows to sit herself up a little higher.”

The day of the shooting, which was March 14, 2015, was a hard day for the family. Taffine and family members attended a funeral for her aunt.

Her aunt Barbara said going to clubs wasn’t like Taffine, but she went the night of her death for a going home celebration for a friend that died in a car accident.

“She didn’t do clubs. She didn’t go out and party. She was celebrating a going home for one of her friends that got killed,” Barbara said.

“I don’t know how to go on in my life without her because everyday there is something that reminds me of her.”
Taffine was a mother of three, two daughters and one son, Demarrius.

Many family members encourage anyone that knows what happened that night to come forward to police to help give them closure.