MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The sister-in-law of a man shot and killed near a bus stop on Union Avenue has raised more than $3,000 to help his family pay for his funeral.
Thomas Bonner, 43, was laid to rest Saturday in Fayette County, a week after he was murdered in the Medical District.
Kennytta Malone said Bonner was shot for no apparent reason while walking home from work, and his mother had to take out a loan to bury her son.
“So, the money raised she is going to use to pay it back,” said Malone.
Malone set up a GoFundMe page and said she was surprised that so many in the community chipped in to help.
“I was reaching out everywhere when I say everywhere, even the next-door app. A lot of people donated from there,” she said.
Police said Bonner was standing at a bus stop at Union Avenue at around 5:30 p.m. on October when he exchanged words with a man in a silver Honda who used a racial slur.
Witnesses said the Honda pulled into a nearby parking lot, a man exited the vehicle and shot Bonner several times.
Bobby Chism, 35, was arrested and charged with his murder.
Police said last month, Chism was also involved in a food truck robbery along Summer Avenue and fired shots at a man he got into a fight with near a car wash on Getwell.
They said surveillance video showed him yelling at Bonner before shooting him.
Investigators also arrested Latorya Graham, 37. They said she was driving the silver Honda.
Malone said the family still isn’t sure what the shooting was about and said police told them there was a third person in the car.
“They didn’t tell his mom how many times they shot him,” Malone said. “The crazy thing about it is the first person who said something to him in the vehicle is not the same person who hopped out of the back passenger side. I just feel like there is way more to it.”
Chism was charged with first-degree murder, reckless endangerment, and a convicted felon in possession of a handgun. He faces a charge of aggravated robbery and attempted murder in the other cases.
Graham was charged with facilitation of first-degree murder, facilitation of aggravated assault, and accessory after the fact.
Both are scheduled to appear in court on Tuesday. Malone said Bonner’s mother plans to be there, too.
Bonner’s younger sister lives in Houston, Texas, and said she will try to come to court as often as she can. Talisha Duffy said this has been hard for her family, and she wants justice for her brother.
“I went to the place where the shooting happened, and it’s a busy area,” said Duffy. “It’s really in my heart that there is no way other people didn’t see what happened.”
Duffy is asking anyone who knows anything to contact the police. If you have a tip, you can leave it anonymously at (901)528-CASH.