Family heartbroken after young mom killed in Western Avenue shooting

Local News

A Knoxville family is heartbroken and devastated after a young mom was killed in a shooting. Police are investigating the death of Denise Stevens, 29, who was pronounced dead at the hospital, and the shooting of Abdul Tahir and Deantrea Woods.

The shooting happened just after 8 p.m. Sunday at a home on Western Avenue.

More: 1 dead, 2 injured in shooting on Western Avenue

Stevens’ family says they’re searching for answers and trying to take care of this young mom’s children.

“Her heart was big. It was pure. It’s just not fair,” said cousin Deidre Badgett.

The family says they’re struggling because Denise Stevens was beautiful, funny, fearless in the kitchen, and an incredible mom to three little ones.

“She stepped up when she lost her twin’s daddy and became everything she had to be. That’s why it’s not fair they took her,” added Badgett.

Stevens was a graduate of Central High School and worked as a home health care nurse. The family says they’re wrestling with questions after this tragic shooting.

“She had a heart of gold. She didn’t deserve what happened to her. Like the people who took her life for no reason,” said cousin Lisa Woods.

The family shared a message they have for whoever took their Denise.

“How can they live with themselves knowing y’all took my cousin away from her kids? I just don’t know how they can live with themselves because it’s hard for us to do it right now,” said Badgett.

While much is uncertain, Badgett says their faith is what’s getting them through this heartache. 

“She comes from a family that loves her, is going to miss her, but who also has her kids’ back.”

The family says it’s too soon to have any kind of memorial service or funeral arrangements set up.

Knoxville police ask if you have any information about this shooting, to contact an investigator. You can leave tips anonymously by calling (865) 215-7212.

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