COVINGTON, Tenn. — The woman who was shot and killed at a party in Covington on Saturday night has been identified by the Tipton County Sheriff’s Office.
Tamya Ewing-Somerville, 20, was shot in the left side of her face after a fight broke out at an Event Center on Highway 51, just north of Covington.
Four other people were also wounded. Reports say three were treated for their injuries and released; one still remains in the hospital after surgery.
Kara Kennedy was there when shots rang out. Kennedy and her sister are cooks at the local party venue and were in the kitchen packing up.
“I just heard screaming and ‘He got a gun. They’re shooting’ and all that and some people was like, ‘I’m hit,'” Kennedy recalled. “I heard that someone was fighting in the crowd and then the shooting came off that.”
Kennedy said she, her sister and a third person got under a heavy metal table. They stayed there until deputies arrived.
“We just got under here and laid, laid down while they were shooting,” she said.
Kennedy said she knew Ewing-Somerville from school.
“We didn’t like just talk everyday like some people do. I seen here around the school, yes she was a quiet girl,” she said.
Bessie Ivory, the event space co-owner, said several gunmen were not on the guest list.
“They were not part of the party,” Ivory said. “They really forced their way into the party. That’s how I want to say that.”
While an armed security guard was on duty, rental policies are now being revamped.
“If you need to rent we’ll do background checks, ensure what type of family or community you come from,” Ivory said.
Sheriff Shannon Beasley released the following statement:
“Our hearts are absolutely broken and our thoughts and prayers remain with Tamya’s family. Our emotions range between grief for Tamaya and her family and anger that such cowards would begin shooting amongst an innocent crowd of people and cause the damage they’ve done. I have spoken with Tamaya’s family and words can’t express the nightmare they are living right now. As I’ve already said, we will leave no stone unturned as we search for these cowards in order to bring justice for Tamya. May God lay his hand upon her family and bring them comfort during this time.”
There are no suspects in custody at this time and motive has not been revealed. If you have information regarding the incident, contact dispatch at 901-475-4300 or the Tipton County Sheriff’s Office at 901-475-3307.