After a senseless tragedy, film mogul Tyler Perry is stepping in to help the family of a metro Atlanta woman shot and killed at a bank over the weekend.
Authorities said Tynesha Evans was fatally shot at a Wells Fargo bank in the northern Atlanta suburb of Alpharetta on Saturday when she planned to meet up with her boyfriend, Othniel Inniss. Evans’ grieving children said their mother had fallen on hard times and was lured to the bank by Inniss, who offered to get her money to cover her rent.
Instead, police said he shot and killed her in the parking lot.
“She can’t kiss me. She can’t tell me to wake up in the morning after I missed my alarm,” Evan’s daughter Shakemia Turner told Atlanta station WSB-TV. “She can’t. She’s not here.”
“She’s the best thing I could ever have in my life,” Turner added.
After learning their heartbreaking story, Perry contacted the woman’s family and offered to lend a helping hand.
“It was a call I wasn’t even going to answer,” Evans’ daughter Audrey Turner admitted. “I said, ‘Well, let me answer it to see who it is.’ I answered and the person on the other end said, ‘This is Tyler.’ I said, ‘Who?’ He said, ‘This is Tyler.’ I said, ‘Tyler who?’ and he said, ‘Tyler Perry.’ At that point, I just broke down crying.”
According to WSB, the “Madea” star has offered to fly Evans’ body back to her home state of Wisconsin, where the family plans to hold a funeral service. But that’s not all. Perry has also promised to cover tuition for Evans’ daughter Sharadiant Turner, who’s a freshman at the historically Black all-women Spelman College in Atlanta.
Sharadiant Turner said she’s going to pursue what she believes her mother would have wanted.
“She started me on math and now I’m going to get to graduate with a mathematics degree from Spelman College without debt,” she said. “It means everything. This is amazing. We can’t thank [Perry] enough.”
Evans’ four children told WSB-TV that their mother was an accomplished author who also worked full-time in the health care industry. Still, she was struggling financially. After her death Saturday, the family said they feared they would be evicted from their apartment in Alpharetta. The matriarch owed about $3,200, her daughters said.
“When we lose where we lay our head, we lose memories of her,” Shakemia Turner told the station. “Every time I walk into the kitchen, I see my mom cooking, dancing and singing and, if you remove me from there, I’m not gonna have that memory.”
A GoFundMe page has since been launched to help the siblings cover living expenses. So far, the campaign has raised over $48,000 of its initial $50,000.
Othniel Inniss, 58, was arrested at the scene of the fatal shooting on Saturday after being held at gunpoint by a passing motorist. He has since been charged with murder and aggravated assault with a firearm.
Watch more in the video below.