Family of bystander killed in shooting seeking justice

Published: Aug. 6, 2020 at 11:02 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Topeka Police say the woman shot and killed in a shooting Wednesday night was an innocent bystander.

Jerrie Ross’s senseless death leaves a huge hole in the hearts of her family.

She was a lifelong Topekan, and her wit and personality made a mark on many.

Her family looked forward to seeing her every week, now they’re looking for justice.

Ross’s sister, Dawn Belville says she was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.

“It was just one of those freak accidents where she was just there at the second this idiot was going down the street with a gun,” she said.

Ross’s life was cut short by a stray bullet - fired from a gas station across the street near 12th and Gage.

“She went over there because she noticed the bugs were eating her tomatoes so she was going to go spray her tomatoes while it was cool and just, was there at the wrong time,” Belville said.

Her family says Ross was fiercely independent, but a friend to everyone she met.

“Kind of ornery in a sense, everybody’s friend. If you met her she was your best friend ... She was just kind of a jack of all trades,” Belville said.

Her family calls her a symbol of strength.

“She was small but mighty, she probably didn’t weigh 90 pounds but I mean ... dynamite comes in small packages. She was always there, she always lived on her own taking care of herself,” Belville said.

Above all else, she was a bright light in times of darkness.

“My son was killed in an accident five weeks ago tomorrow, so Jerrie has been my support system and every night we were just talking late at night so she could just keep me going ... I don’t know what I’m going to do now ... I don’t think I would’ve made it the last five weeks without her,” Belville said.

TPD released a picture that could help Ross’s family get justice.

Police say the man pictured in this article is a person of interest. He was last seen driving a black Chevrolet SUV north on Gage. If you or anyone you know has any information about the shooting, call Shawnee County Crime Stoppers at 785-234-0007.

Ross’s family has also set up a GoFundMe page to help with expenses related to her death. You can donate through this link here.

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