Mother of Petersburg shooting victim starts GoFundMe for 'burial the way she would want it'

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PETERSBURG − The mother of a woman shot to death Saturday morning at a downtown loft-apartment complex has started a GoFundMe account for her daughter's funeral expenses, saying she wants to give her ”the proper burial exactly the way she would want it.”

Toni Knight, 19, was killed as she walked into her residence at the Petersburg ArtistSpace Lofts, mom Diane Branzelle posted in the narrative accompanying the account.

"[S]he was taking groceries in her apartment when some other people started shooting at each other and a bullet hit my baby girl," Branzelle wrote. She did not have life insurance for her daughter because she "never thought I would be having to bury my child."

As of Sunday afternoon, Petersburg Police had not released any details about the incident. Two other people were shot, but their conditions were not immediately available.

"She didn't deserve this," Branzelle wrote. "My baby girl was a innocent bystander."

By Sunday, the fundraiser had attained more than $2,500, with a goal of $20,000.

"I wanna give her the proper burial exactly the way she would want it," Branzelle wrote.

Knight's death was Petersburg's 11th homicide of 2022. At this same time last year, eight murders had been recorded.

The death was also the second of the week where a woman was killed. On June 30, 26-year-old Kadesha Williams of Petersburg died of gunshot wounds shortly after arrival at Bon Secours Southside Medical Center.

Anyone who has information about either shooting is asked to contact Petersburg-Dinwiddie Crime Solvers at (804) 861-1212 or use the P3Tips mobile app.

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This article originally appeared on The Progress-Index: Petersburg murder victim’s mom sets up funeral fund for her daughter