Candlelight Vigil Held for Murdered Mother of Nine
(Memphis) – Family and friends dealt with tons of emotions Sunday night at a vigil held in honor of a woman allegedly murdered by her husband.
“She was always happy. She always had a smile,” said Raymond Westbrook, one of her sons. “She made anyone who was around her, she made their day better.”
Nearly a hundred people gathered to light candles and grieve the life of Brenda Suggs Simmons, a mother of nine, a grandmother of 27.
“I just want the world to know we miss her. It ain’t nothing we can do,” said Westbrook. “We don’t know where to go from here. It’s a loss that we shouldn’t have lost.”
Brenda was murdered Thursday evening, police say by her estranged husband, John Simmons. The two had been married for 13 years, but were recently separated.
“I’ve known him longer than I’ve known Brenda and I never in a million years thought he would do something like this to her,” said Brenda’s best friend, Charlynda Sims.
Simmons was charged Sunday with First Degree Murder. Police say before the murder, he called his daughter and mother saying he was going to kill his wife.
“It could have been prevented,” said Westbrook through tears. “Say something. Call somebody.”
Thursday evening, police say Simmons showed up to his mothers home and confessed that he had just shot Brenda and tried to kill himself by taking pills.
“It’s not just one life he ruined,” said Westbrook. “He ruined a whole family.”
With the pain of Brenda’s death still stinging, the family is calling on God for strength.
“We’ll be alright because I know we’re not the only family going through this,” Catherine Suggs prayed, in front of the group. “I love you dear God. I love you just the same.”
The family wanted to emphasize that anyone who is in an abusive relationship to get out before something like this happens.
Brenda will be laid to rest on Friday. Simmons goes before a judge on Monday.