RICHMOND, Va. -- Hours before she was shot and killed on Interstate 95 in Richmond, Tanna Gardner graduated from Virginia Union University.
Gardner, 23, was driving on I-95 north in downtown Richmond early Sunday morning when another car pulled up next to her 2017 Nissan and opened fire.
Gardner and a passenger, identified as 26-year-old Sharayne Holland, of Manassas, were killed. A man in the car with them, identified by friends as Holland's boyfriend, suffered life-threatening injuries.
There were seven people in Gardner's car when it was fired upon.
Crime Insider sources told Jon Burkett, and victims' friends later confirmed, they were out celebrating graduation at a club in Richmond before the shooting.
The friends said their group got into a verbal altercation with another group at the club.
Sources also said Richmond Police responded to the disturbance call in Shockhoe Bottom.
When they left the club, the friends said, the other group followed.
The shooter who killed Gardner and Holland was in a white four-door sedan, according to Virginia State Police.
No other suspect information has been released.
Crime Insider sources say a man inside the victim’s car was the target. Those same sources said that the targeted man was arguing with another outside a downtown sports bar.
Holland's friends said she was the mother of a one-year-old girl and infant boy and that her entire life revolved around her family.
Family members said her boyfriend, initially taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries, was improving and in a more stable condition Monday.
Virginia Union University released a statement Monday on Gardner’s murder, hours after graduating from the university.
“The entire Virginia Union University Family is saddened by the untimely deaths that occurred early Sunday Morning on I-95,” said Acting President Joseph F. Johnson. “One of the victims was Tana Gardner, who graduated on Saturday with a B. S. degree in business. Our prayers go out to all the families during this time of sadness and grief.”
Police have not confirmed details provided by the victims' family and friends, but did call the crime a targeted incident.
Anyone who may have witnessed the shooting or has information was asked to call Virginia State Police at 804-553-3445.
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