Genai Coleman, the 40-year-old Snellville pre-school teacher killed Friday near Gwinnett Place mall, will be taken back to her Indiana home for a funeral in her family church Monday.
Geraldine Brown, Coleman's mother, said family members who flew into metro Atlanta when they received news of the shooting are now making reservations for flights to Elkhart, Ind., where visitation and services for Coleman are set to begin at 10 a.m. Monday at Canaan Baptist Church.Brown said "we don't know anything" about developments in the case. Gwinnett police have been able to tell her little about their efforts because it is an ongoing investigation, she said.
"All we have done is gone over to the site and put down a marker," Brown said. "People we don't even know have called and been really emotional. They've said, 'It could have been me!' "
"The mornings are particularly difficult for us," said Brown, who along with other family members are staying at their daughter's home near Snellville. "But after we get into the day and try to take care of things that need to be done, after we get into the routine, it gets better."
Coleman, 40, was waiting to pick up her daughter from a job at a nearby Red Lobster restaurant when someone shot her about 9 p.m. Friday. The assailant also stole her car, according to Brown.
Witnesses told police that after shots were fired, Coleman got out of her car, took two steps and fell to the ground. She died a short time later at Gwinnett Medical Center.
On Monday, Coleman's mother, three siblings and several other relatives drove to the parking lot behind Merchants Exchange shopping center, at 3492 Satellite Blvd. in Duluth, groping for answers.
There in the oppressive heat, they circled the area where she had fallen. They pointed out drops of what appeared to be blood and a blue plastic glove — the type worn by paramedics. They spoke very little.
"She was probably in the wrong place at the wrong time," Brown said.
By the time Coleman died, her killer had left the scene in the stolen Dodge Intrepid. On Monday, authorities recovered the vehicle in downtown Atlanta, but investigators were not saying how or exactly where they found it, Gwinnett police spokesman Cpl. David Schiralli said.
Gwinnett police said Tuesday there was nothing new to report in the case.
Brown said her daughter's car was an older model Intrepid, "nothing worth being killed over."
"They had the car. Why did they have to shoot her?" Brown said.
The name "Genai" means "one who loves people," and she did just that, her mother said. Coleman was a preschool teacher at Montclair Elementary School in DeKalb County, her relatives said.
Despite being single, she also took in and raised three foster daughters — now ages 19, 21 and 23 â€” at her home in Snellville.