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Neighbors gather at vigil for 61-year-old woman shot answering door

RICHMOND, Va. -- In the drizzling rain, they stood hand in hand with candles, to remember Geraldine Tillery. She was known to many in the Southside community as “grandma” or “mom.”

Tillery was fatally shot on May 5, when she answered her front door. She succumbed to her injuries on May 21.

Folks at her vigil Monday said Tillery had the kindest heart and would help anyone in need.

She was 61 years old.

“She was everybody's mama - she took care of all of us,” said one woman at the vigil. “She raised me, she raised my kids- she raised other people's kids."

The family said that neighbors and the victim reported seeing a silver SUV circling the home on Concord Avenue, hours before the shooting.

Geraldine R. Tillery

After a suspect knocked on the door and fired several shots at Tillery, they took off toward Jefferson Davis Highway.

"He just started shooting- she backed up and fell into the chair and I went to the door and saw a boy running in all black- with a black hoodie and a big nose," said Tillery's daughter, Jeanetta Tillery.

The family said Tillery didn't have enemies and believe the shooting was a case of accidental identity.

Her loss has impacted all who knew and loved her.

"She was a wonderful woman; she'd feed you, clothe you, anything- stay at her house- anything that you need-she was there," a niece said.

With the release of balloons, many in her neighborhood said goodbye – and a prayer that justice will be served.

A funeral for Tillery will be held in North Carolina.

Anyone with information about this homicide is asked to call Major Crimes Detective M. Gouldman at (804) 646-3915 or contact Crime Stoppers at 780-1000 or at http://www.7801000.com. The P3 Tips Crime Stoppers app for smartphones may also be used. All Crime Stoppers methods are anonymous.