ANDERSON — Three months to the day after her daughter Alexis Wasson was fatally shot, and surrounded by black, white and purple balloon arrangements, Wynde Wasson set up water on a table near the volleyball courts at Shadyside Park.
The water was for supporters participating in the Memory Walk for Alexis Wasson Saturday. Proceeds for the walk are expected to be used to set up a college fund for her surviving 5-year-old daughter, Khi’Yauna Miller.
Wynde Wasson, 48, said she’s still in shock over the loss of the young woman she calls her “best friend.”
“I’m still really numb. I ask them when I will come out of that and have my breakdown moment, but they tell me the grieving process is different for everyone,” she said. “I have not come to terms with it, really, that she is gone.”
Wasson, 29, was shot in the back of the head around 3 a.m. on Aug. 2 in the 200 block of Mellen Drive in an incident described by her family as one of domestic violence. She was kept on life support until her twin boys died at 21 weeks’ gestation on Aug. 7 and Aug. 8.
Her boyfriend, Skye’lar De’andre White, 29, who family members said was the twins’ father, has pleaded not guilty to murder and two counts of Level 3 felony feticide. If convicted, he faces a maximum of 117 years behind bars.
Wasson said she originally planned the walk to take place last weekend, during Domestic Violence Awareness Month, but postponed it until Saturday because of inclement weather.
“I didn’t want it to be all about domestic violence but about Alexis and the boys,” she said. “I wanted everybody to remember Alexis. I miss her laugh and talking to her and her smile and her beautiful eyes. I had her when I was 18, so we kind of grew up together. We just learned together.”
About 30 people, about one-tenth of the number who came to Alexis Wasson’s viewing, participated in the walk.
“I’m glad she was able to touch so many people’s lives,” Wasson said.
Like other family members had previously shared, Wasson said she and others had embraced White when he and Alexis Wasson, who was an occupational therapist, started living together three years ago. Wasson said she didn’t suspect domestic abuse until earlier this year.
“Sometimes Khi’Yauna would say things, but we didn’t think anything of it until April, but by then, she was pregnant with the twins, and it was harder for her to leave,” she said.
Though their deaths didn’t hit her quite as hard in the beginning, Wasson said she is missing the presence of the baby grandsons she was expecting.
“It’s starting to hit me now a lot harder than it did at first because (White) never gave me a chance to get close to my grandsons, to hear their heartbeats,” she said.
Khi’Yauna now lives with her father and attends kindergarten at Erskine Elementary School.
Her teacher, Ashley Loffer, who met Alexis Wasson as she registered her daughter for school, participated in the memorial walk.
“I feel out of the classroom, it’s my job,” she said. “I think it’s important for me to be here for support and respect for the family.