A Dayton family is in mourning after a beloved grandmother is gunned down by a stray bullet in a drive-by shooting.
According to police, 62-year-old Sherrell Wheatley was walking on North Euclid Avenue less than a block away from her home when she was shot Saturday. She later died at Miami Valley Hospital.
“That was my mom,” said Antwand Warren, Wheatley’s son. “I loved her. She was my angel, my everything.”
Warren, who asked us not to show his face on camera, described his mother as a great cook who had many friends.
“I really can’t speak right now – I’m really at a loss for words,” he said. “I lost the only thing that I really, really love and trust in life.”
According to family members and friends, she was well-known in the neighborhood for helping others, and that’s what she was doing when the shooting happened.
“She was going down the street to do a good deed and got caught in the middle of somebody’s gunfire,” said Jackie Allen, Wheatley’s niece.
Wheatley was active in the community, and her loss touches many people, Allen said.
“She was a humble person, had a good heart,” Allen said. “She didn’t necessarily just take care of her grandkids, her son. She was a volunteer at Edison Elementary School.”
Dayton Public Schools sent 2 NEWS a statement about her volunteer work there, which reads: “Sherrell Wheatley was an integral part of our Edison PreK-6 family. As a parent liaison, she spent many hours each week volunteering her warm personality and committed heart with our students. Ms. Wheatley was greatly respected by staff and students and we grieve with her family, including her two grandchildren who attend Edison.”
Neighbors we spoke with said Wheatley would often bring home-cooked meals to her neighbors and food for the neighborhood dogs.
“She did everything for everybody,” said Eva Still. “She would come over here and feed the dogs. She would just come over, ‘Take care, baby. You need something to eat?’ She would feed you.”
Still, who considers Sherrell Wheatley her best friend, said people in her normally peaceful neighborhood are confused by what has happened.
“I don’t understand it,” Still said. “I really don’t. A good person dies like that? Why can’t we all just get along? That’s what I seriously believe.”
Family members we spoke with said they want to see an end to the violence and hope anyone with information comes forward.
“Quit being cowards,” Warren said. “Somebody’s seen something. I just want justice.”
Police have not made any arrests or identified a suspect. Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 937-222-STOP (7867).