Family of murdered woman hosts tree lighting

Hope event raises awareness of domestic violence

December 09, 2011 at 9:53 am  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

The family of a woman who was tragically gunned down by an ex-boyfriend is hoping that a Christmas tree lighting ceremony on Dec. 9 will go a long way towards raising awareness of domestic violence.

Christmas was Santana Marshall’s favorite time of the year, but the 25-year-old was shot twice and killed by 39-year-old Curry Lewis in May. Lewis later took his own life in what police called a murder-suicide.

Tondia Fiffie, Marshall’s cousin, said that Santana was a victim of domestic violence, but hid it from her family.

"We didn’t know until afterwards and we know there are people out there going through the same thing," she said. "The purpose of the Christmas tree lighting is to bring attention to domestic violence so that the victim can leave the relationship before it’s too late."

According to a witness, Lewis was waiting in Marshall’s driveway when she came home and ordered her out of the vehicle before shooting her.

After fleeing the scene, Lewis contacted a family member and said that he had just killed Marshall and was going to kill himself, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

A short time later, officers located Lewis in Marshall’s vehicle on Levee Road in Des Allemands. Lewis was found with what appeared to be self-inflicted gunshot wounds under his chin and possibly three shots to the body.

"Her death was very, very hard for us. It was just so unexpected," Fiffie said. "She was a church-going woman who was always happy, outgoing and confident."

Because Christmas was Marshall’s favorite time of the year, her mother, Shanna, decided to host a tree lighting in front of her home at 722 Paul Maillard Road. While the tree lighting will be in remembrance of Santana, it will also be for victims of crimes, battered women and children.

The family welcomes any victims of domestic violence to the ceremony and are hopeful that some will share their experiences with those in attendance.

The tree lighting will take place at 6:30 p.m. Those interested in attending can call Tondia Fiffie at (504) 251-3375.

View other articles written Jonathan Menard

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