Brother of Waffle House murder victim shares special video, memories

(Submitted to Fox 17 News)

Relatives of the young people murdered in the Antioch Waffle House shooting continue their struggle to heal and move forward while living with their losses.

De’Ebony Groves was only 21years old when Metro Nashville Police say she was gunned down along with three others inside the Waffle House in late April.

De’Ebony Groves’ older brother Di’Angelo Groves shared a special video while she was still full of life.

“Hi bubba I love you!” De’Ebony Groves said in the cell phone video. “I love you too,” her brother Di’Angelo Groves said as he rested his head on his younger sister.

That’s when you hear and see De’Ebony joking and laughing, something Di’Angelo said happened all the time, as the brother and sister shared a special bond.

Di’Angelo told Fox 17 News how he and his mom are coping nearly a month after De’Ebony’s murder.

“We have our moments, but they're also accompanied by joyous times and laughter because we remember a lot of the happy times,” Di’Angelo said. “And just seeing what an impact her life has made on so many people.”

Gunned down by accused Waffle House shooter Travis Reinking, De’Ebony was killed just two weeks before she and her brother were set to graduate from Belmont University. Their mom accepted De’Ebony’s diploma at the spring commencement ceremony.

Fellow Belmont grad Jessi Baumgartner didn’t know De’Ebony but said her classmate’s death affected her deeply.

“I think it's easy to pass through our day-to-day lives caught up in very mundane, menial things,” Baumgartner said. “But here somebody has passed away, and their family is dealing with a trauma. When something like that happens, you start to recognize how little the trivial complaints you have are."

Di’Angelo Groves said although he can no longer see or speak to his sister, her life and impact still brings him comfort.

"That's actually what makes me cry a lot too,” Di’Angelo Groves said. “The people I don’t personally know that come up to me or message me and say 'hey your sister did this for me' or 'your sister meant this to me' and that hits me.”

As her brother works to heal and move forward, there are memories of De’Ebony that come up all the time. Di’Angelo shared something he wishes he could still do for his sister.

“I went to the gym and then I went to Whole Foods and I was sitting there eating and I remember how she loves pizza from Whole Foods. And I was just like ‘I wish that I could take you to Whole Foods one more time and buy you some pizza,’” Di’Angelo Groves said with a big laugh.

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