Family of grandmother killed in Mississippi police chase questions pursuit

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BATESVILLE, Miss. — A Mississippi family is grieving over the loss of a beloved grandmother and nurse in the community. Her life was taken in a police chase Thursday.

They believe all of it could have been prevented if deputies had not started chasing a stolen car.

Highway patrol says it all started when a DeSoto County deputy tried to pull over a woman driving a stolen car Thursday

Lisa Gay, 51, a mom of three and grandmother of five, had spent the previous night in the hospital with her grandchild, 2, who had tonsil surgery.

Terria McMinn remembers saying goodbye to her mom when she left Thursday morning.

“I hugged her neck. I begged her not to go to work yesterday. I felt like she didn’t need to go,” McMinn said.

But she knew her mom, a home health nurse who travels from her home in Batesville, would go, because she’s as dedicated to her grandkids as she is to her patients.

“That was her calling. That’s where she belonged," McMinn said. "She loved going and helping. She always went above and beyond for her patients.”

Around 1 o’clock, officials say DeSoto County deputies tried to stop the stolen car along Highway 78. Instead the car sped up, leading a high-speed chase.

The suspect’s vehicle eventually hit Gay’s car in Marshall County and killed her on scene.

"All her patients have been contacting us, because they know the world lost a special person to a senseless act,” McMinn said.

McMinn says her mom was raising her 13-year-old grandson. Now he and so many others are without the one they need the most, because deputies decided to pursue a stolen car.

“My kids will never see their grandma again. I'll never have my best friend, my lifeline back because you wanted to be hard on crime," she said. "Reevaluate it. Is it really worth an innocent person's life to get someone for a stolen vehicle?"

WREG asked DeSoto County officials about their pursuit policy and the decision. They wouldn't comment, so we submitted a public records request.

Two women — Tae`ona Edmondson and Tanairy Portal, both of Miami — were arrested in Union County, Mississippi, and one is charged with hitting a state troopers' vehicle there before they were captured.

The Marshal County Sheriff said Edmondson will also face second degree murder charges.

Sources close to the investigation say the women were allegedly part of a Memphis-Miami car theft ring.

McMinn says her mom wouldn’t want to see her crying or angry.

“She embedded in me if you don’t have faith and a heart you won’t make it in this world. No matter how ugly the world gets, always be kind and smile," she said.

A family friend has started a Go Fund Me page for Gay's funeral expenses and other unexpected costs. You can view here:

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