One year after 19-year-old’s death, Midlands family continues to fight for justice

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Published: Jul. 5, 2022 at 10:08 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - One Midlands mother is still searching for answers after losing her teenage daughter to gun violence exactly one year Tuesday.

19-year-old Trinity Sanders was shot and killed at a home on Musgroves Mill Lane in the Moores Creek community at around 5 A.M. The family says the Columbia Police Department told them that a drive-by shooter opened fire on the house, striking Sanders while she was sleeping.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Columbia Field Office is offering a...
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Columbia Field Office is offering a reward of up to $25,000 for information leading to an arrest and conviction in this case.(WIS)

No arrests have been made in the shooting.

LaTechia Thompson, Sanders’ mother, said that the last year has been extremely hard, but she is doing okay.

She said that she has been preparing for this July 5 for some time.

Sanders was kind and gentle, and had “a pure heart,” Thompson said.

“An angel on earth and now she’s an angel in heaven,” she said.

Family, friends and faith leaders gathered at the Greenlawn Cemetery Tuesday night to remember and honor Trinity’s memory with a balloon release.

Cassandra Jones, Trinity’s grandmother, said all the love and support means the world to their family.

She said not a minute goes by when she doesn’t think of her granddaughter, and that the family continues to have faith that they will get justice for her.

“This did not have to happen, but we’re putting it all in God’s hands,” Jones said. “We know the person is out there so we’re not going to give up the fight. We will get victory. Victory will be ours one day. We just keep the faith, trust in God and hold onto his unchanging hands, I know that something come through for us. Justice will come through.”

Thompson said that she misses her daughter more and more each day, and she is not going to stop fighting for justice.

“Always, for the rest of my life,” she said.

Thompson said that she and Trinity had a very close bond, and could talk about anything.

“She loved her friends, her family, she loved spending time going to different types of events like she was definitely a good big sister to her brother.”

Trinity also loved children, and had dreams of being a pediatric nurse.

Thompson is now pleading with the community for help.

“Even if you don’t know who did it like if they even hear something that happened that night, it’s ok you can be anonymous, nobody has to know your name,” she said. “It’s really important to get this case resolved. It’s just not fair for someone to not only lose their life at 19, but to gun violence. We have to stop this gun violence.”

Rep. Jermaine Johnson, D-Richland, who represents the Moores Creek Community, attended the balloon release.

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He said this is personal to him because the shooting happened in his neighborhood. He made a plea to the young people present to be there for Trinity’s family during this difficult time.

“I’m sick and tired of losing our young people,” Johnson said. “I’m sick and tired of going to these scenes where these things are happening, and crying with these family members and hugging – I’m tired of it. I’m tired of it. We’re losing them younger and younger every single day. We can’t lose anymore of you all.”

In the last year, Thompson said it has been hard not having closure in her daughter’s death, but she’s tried to keep busy and stay strong for her son, and the rest of her family.

“And I feel like for myself, I don’t like to bother people, like if I’m having a bad day, I’m about to start crying now, but if I’m having a bad day I don’t really want to bother people so I just kind of keep it to myself a lot of times so it’s hard,” she said.

Thompson said her efforts are about more than just Trinity. She has attended roundtables on gun violence and reached out to other families who have lost their children, preaching a message of peace.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Columbia Field Office is offering a reward of up to $25,000 for information leading to an arrest and conviction in this case.

RELATED STORY | Reward offered in Columbia murder investigation

Additionally, Columbia Police says they still need Crimestoppers tips to help solve this case.

Crimestoppers is offering a reward up to $1,000 for information leading to an arrest.

If you have any information that could lead to an arrest, you’re urged to call Crimestoppers. That number is 1-888-CRIME-SC.

You may also call the ATF at 1-888-ATF-TIPS.

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