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Family & friends react after tragic Asheville shooting, fund being set-up to help family

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Photo credit: WLOS Staff

Friends and family are reacting in disbelief and heartache after tragic shooting Wednesday in Asheville.

The shooting left four people dead, including two juveniles, their mother and the gunman. Three other children were injured in the shooting.

Police say Maurice Laron Garner shot and killed 32-year-old Erica Nichelle Smith and her children before going to his vehicle and shooting himself in the head.

Alexis Cromer says she was very close with her 14-year-old cousin who was shot and killed. Cromer says Erica had broken up with Garner but that he was jealous and angry and wanted to get back together.

“Like I kind of felt this was gonna happen. It’s just him,” says Cromer. “He was very violent. (Jealous?) I would say that. You know just kind of like if, if I can’t have you no one else can.”

A statement has been released on behalf of the Smith Family, it reads:

The family appreciates the outpouring of support and prayers of the community. Erica was committed to her children and loved them dearly. Our family is devastated by the loss of them. Words cannot convey how we are feeling at this time.
A special fund is being set up at the State Employees Credit Union tomorrow for the family to offset the cost of the final arrangements for Erica and her beloved children. More information will be forthcoming via Hart Funeral Services.
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