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Tampa mother holds vigil in honor of daughter who was shot and killed in her car

"She meant something to a lot of people,” said LaMaria Smith.
Posted at 11:09 PM, Dec 10, 2021

TAMPA, Fla. — Friends and family of Savannah Mathis gathered to hold a vigil in her honor Friday night to remember a young woman who they say was ambitious and had a lot more life to live, but sadly was cut short due to gun violence.

It has been a little over two weeks since 21-year-old Savannah Mathis was shot and killed while driving her car near Julian B. Lane Park and, as you could imagine, her friends and family are still mourning her senseless death.

“I just want y’all to know the type of person that y’all took. She meant something to a lot of people, as you look around,” said LaMaria Smith, Savannah’s mother, to a crowd of people during the vigil.

Dozens of people crowded around Friday night where Savannah was killed to show their respect for the young woman who touched so many lives. People brought flowers and candles spelling her name were lit. “And we did white candles because she was so pure,” said LaMaria.

LaMaria is still grieving the loss of her daughter who she said was her miracle baby. Lamaria told me she got into a serious car accident when she was pregnant with Savannah. “I started talking to her, like, ‘baby, got to stay with me. You’re my first.’” Doctors performed an emergency C-section and saved Savannah’s life.

However, LaMaria said she never thought her last conversation with her miracle baby would be with her on life support. “And this conversation went, ‘baby, you got your wings. I know you at peace and with that, I can move forward,” said LaMaria.

Through losing her daughter, she still found it in her heart to forgive whoever killed her, while pleading for justice. “So, whoever did it, I’m going to ask you to turn yourself in, but I’m at peace. I’m not even mad at you. I feel sorry for you and I pray God forgive you one day like I have,” LaMaria said to a group of people at the vigil.

While friends and family will continue to mourn her death wondering how and why this even happened, police are investigating this homicide and they said they need your help.

If you know anything that can help bring closure to the Mathis family, Police or call Crime Stoppers

Police: 813-231-6130

Crime Stoppers: 1-800-873-8477