HALLS, Tenn. (WATE) — It has been nearly five months since an employee was killed behind the Rural King in Halls. The mother of the victim is working to help others as she grieves the loss of her son.

In December, a suspected shoplifter shot 23-year-old Tristan Smith. His mom, Sandy Remington, told WATE that she lost three sons in the past five years.


Smith was known as someone who was also dependable and loved theater.

“I’ve said it before that he was just larger than life. He was loud and you knew when he was in the room and he was just so happy most of the time, you know. I never really saw him in a bad mood,” Remington said.

She says her son was diagnosed with autism at a young age but it never stopped him from pursuing his goals.

“People who I know now who I tell them he had autism, they were like, ‘No way.’ They can’t believe it and I’m like yeah he does. He’s come a long way,” Remington said.

One of Smith’s biggest passions was high school theater.

“We would go to all his plays and it was just so much fun to watch him in his characters and he even went back after he graduated and he would support his friends who were still in school and go see their plays,” Remington said.

Now, she is hoping to give one high schooler the opportunity to take their love for theater to the next level.

Earlier this year, Remington said she was contacted by Smith’s senior-year English teacher.

“She had reached out to me in early January before school started and asked if they could set up a scholarship fund. I loved the idea and thought that would be amazing. Because I think it’s important that Tristan lives on although he’s not here. That we will carry his memory on, and his life, and still have a positive impact just like we did when he was alive,” she said.

The scholarship is donor funded and will be given to a theater student at Halls High School. It is a way she hopes Smith’s memory will live on.

Right now the scholarship is at $1,000, but Remington would love to see more money raised to increase the amount.

“My boys, Tristan, Samuel, and Shawn, all of them are just so giving and loving and I want that to continue,” she said.

Donate to the Tristan Smith Memorial Scholarship fund here.

Three Halls High School theater students have applied for the scholarship by writing an essay on how theater has impacted their life.

Remington will be presenting the scholarship this Friday at an awards ceremony at Halls.