Family members of mom of 4 killed at North Jax gas station speak


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A balloon release was held for Tayda Smith, 28, who was shot and killed at the Race Way Gas Station in North Jacksonville.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Family members of 28-year-old Tayda Smith held a balloon release Thursday night at the Race Way gas station where she was shot and killed the weekend prior.

“I was actually with her not here but at our previous destination… we were all together, and I was actually parking my car and waiting for everyone else to get out of their cars when we got the news,” said Conisha Mason, Smith’s cousin.

“We thought she was behind us,” said Mason.

Mason and Tayda spent time together at a family party the night Tayda was shot. 

Mason says she was on her way to another spot and Tayda was following behind. Tayda stopped to get gas, but Mason says she never made it to their final destination.

“I definitely do not believe she was the intended target,” said Mason. “Tayda was uplifting and Tayda was loved… She was kind and no one would want to hurt her.”

RELATED: In less than 7 hours, three shootings and a fatal stabbing in Jacksonville

Police say she was shot and killed at a gas pump. They counted at least 75 shell casings. 

Family members released purple balloons in the sky for the 28-year-old mom of four. 

The four girls won’t be able to celebrate Mother’s Day with their mom, which hurts the family.

“She has four kids… four daughters that she loved and adored, and they took her away from that,” said Elaine Biggins, Smith’s Aunt.

Police don’t have suspect information but the family is begging for answers. 

“Please come forward, I’m pretty sure they see it… it’s everywhere… I’m pretty sure they see it all over social media and all over the news,” said Mason.

An employee at the Race Way tells First Coast News all surveillance video was given to police.

RELATED: Mother of four Tayda Smith identified as Jacksonville woman found shot dead

RELATED: Mother drives injured daughter to Jacksonville fire station where she died of gunshot wounds

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