Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Grief Preempts Holiday Mood; A Tragic Shooting at Shands Changes Plans for the Victim's Alabama Family

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Grief Preempts Holiday Mood; A Tragic Shooting at Shands Changes Plans for the Victim's Alabama Family

Article excerpt

Byline: ADAM AASEN

On Monday, Shannon Smith McCants had her bags packed and was ready to head home to Mobile for Thanksgiving.

But after a tragic shooting at Shands Jacksonville, her family had to come to Jacksonville instead, to spend their holiday mourning the loss of "a phenomenal woman."

"She wasn't packing her bags to go to Alabama. She was packing her bags to be with the lord," said The Rev. Michael Mitchell told hundreds who gathered Saturday at St. Stephen AME Church to celebrate the life of McCants, 37, of Jacksonville.

McCants, a pharmacy manager at Shands, was shot several times by 46-year-old Brenda Joyce Coney, who started arguing with her while waiting in line.

Although religious leaders called for an end to violence in Jacksonville, the service focused on McCants' life, not her death.

Friends from her Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority at Florida A&M University praised her leadership.

Reggie Hartley, a coworker at Shands, said McCants "didn't even seem like a supervisor" because she worked just as hard as everyone else.

"If I got my hands dirty, then she got her hands dirty," he said.

She was also remembered as a loving mother to her two children: Derrick II, 7, and Sandra Dalton, 7 months. Family friend Tafi Vista met McCants when her husband, Derrick, coached her son's baseball team. She said McCants was "not a sideline mom, she was our coach, our scorekeeper and team mom."

McCants was also known for her volunteer work, both in church and at Jack and Jill of America, a social group for children.

Vista said she was a deeply religious woman and was the reason her family started going to church again.

During the service, Mitchell reminded the crowd that it's OK to be angry about the way McCants died.

"You're looking for someone to blame. It's alright to be angry," he said. "You may ask, 'Why is the bold city of Jacksonville plagued by guns?' 'Why couldn't the hospital have better security?' "

Mitchell said he knows many people who didn't know McCants have been touched by her death, and he wants people to think about how we can prevent such violence from happening again. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.