‘My heart is truly broken’: Loved ones mourn loss of Longs woman shot, killed at N.C. raceway

Published: Aug. 22, 2023 at 10:18 PM EDT
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LITTLE RIVER, S.C. (WMBF) - The family of Shaquanna Brunson is mourning her death after she was shot and killed at a race track last week, and unfortunately, this isn’t the first time family members have dealt with gun violence.


Reverend Ashonda Wilson, a mother figure to Brunson, said she feels like she’s caught in a vicious cycle after seeing yet another loved one murdered.

“My heart is truly broken because just two years ago our family was in these shoes,” said Wilson. “I lost my son due to gun violence.”

Wilson said that she is ready for a change.

“To have to be right back here, you know, it’s time for our communities to wake up.”

Since her son Chaquan Bellamy’s June 2021 murder, Wilson has found a way to bring other grieving mothers together, bonding over their shared trauma, and their struggles to overcome it.

“We have formulated a grief ministry that comes together once a month, and we talk and try to hold each other accountable together,” said Wilson. Robeson County Sheriff Deputies found Brunson dead at a Dragway in Rowland, North Carolina.

Wilson said she was beginning to heal, but the sudden loss of Brunson is reopening some old wounds. She’s now leaning on the group now more than ever, as she explains grief is something that’s sometimes overlooked.

“We need to learn how to grieve properly,” said Wilson. “So many times in African American communities, we don’t know how to process grief, we push those things to the side and it comes out in other ways.”

As Wilson now mourns the loss of two children, she’s hopeful justice soon will be served.

“She knew how to manage money, she knew how to budget stuff, she knew how to do things, and she kind of was that little coach for her little sister,” she said. “We’re going to walk through this together, and prayerfully justice will be served for Shaquanna.”

Grief Ministry is held every fourth Wednesday at the Mount Calvary #2 Missionary Baptist Church in Litttle River at 5:30 p.m.

Robeson County deputies are still in need of assistance finding Brunson’s killers.

Anyone with information is urged to call their office at 910-971-3170.