MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Memphis Pastor Lamont Harris’ daughter, Rhema, was in the process of becoming a police officer when she was killed in a drive-by shooting.
“She would have been a great officer because she loved people,” Pastor Harris said.
It happened last month in St. Joseph County, Indiana. The Sheriff called it another senseless act of violence.
“Getting that call that my only child has been tragically shot,” Pastor Harris said. “Not just shot, she didn’t agitate anything. She wasn’t involved in any mishaps.”
Rhema Harris grew up in Memphis and graduated high school from Southeast Prep Academy. When she died, she was living in northern Indiana and had been a corrections officers for almost a year.
According to her father, she was visiting a friend near South Bend, Indiana in Mishawaka when she was shot. The St. Joseph County Sheriff said the shooting was retaliation in an ongoing feud. Several minors were in the house at the time. The Sheriff also said Harris was not the intended target.
“The child that were in the house had issues,” Pastor Harris said. “A beef with some other kids, and she was in the middle of it in the home and these other children, nothing happened to them. And my daughter, my child was the one that was shot.”
A week ago, Harris was buried with full military and police honors. She was a decorated army veteran. Her father said knowing how focused she was and how many lives she touched made him proud.
“At the cemetery, there were so many St. Joe County corrections officers who came up to me and her mom and said ‘your daughter was exceptional at her job,'” he said. “And even the inmates loved her.”
Pastor Harris said the family received letters of condolences from some of the inmates. Now that he has laid his daughter to rest, he is hoping that the ones responsible for her murder will be held accountable.
Harris also said police have told him that the suspects they have in custody are between 17 and 20 years old.
“It’s unfortunate that these are children, but there has to be some consequences,” he said.
Harris told WREG he is in grief counseling to help him cope with this loss.