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Family of slain security guard asking for public's help

5:57 PM, Aug 5, 2013   |    comments
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FERNANDINA BEACH, Fla. -- A family is desperately seeking help from the community by asking people to come forward and help find the person who killed a beloved wife and mother.

The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office says Brenda Williamson, 50, was killed while sitting inside her work vehicle. She was on-duty as a roving security guard.

Williamson was shot in the chest in the parking lot of the McDonald's at 7100 Bonneval Road on the Southside around 5:40 a.m. Thursday.

"It's the hardest thing I've ever had to endure," said Nancy Thrift, the victim's mother.

Williamson was supposed to get off work at 6 a.m., instead her family members were called to meet with detectives who broke the news.

"She loved her job. She said she wasn't afraid. She said 'momma I'll be alright, I'm doing what I love to do,' and she did," said Thrift. 

Williamson is survived by her two sisters, her parents, her husband and 26-year-old son.

 "A parent is not supposed to bury their children. This is not the way life is intended to be," said Richard Thrift, the victim's father.

Her family said she loved to read and used to swap books with her mother all the time. They say she worked hard, took care of many cats, and liked to knit. Her pride and joy, everyone would agree, was her son Arnold Willie Williamson III.

"She was a great mom, she really was. She did everything she could," said Williamson III, the victim's son.

Williamson grew up in Alabama but moved back to Fernandina Beach with her family when she was 21-years-old. Her family says she was a friend to everyone.

"She loved people.  She never met a stranger. She'd talk to anybody about anything," said the victim's mother.

And this is what makes it harder for her family to understand why someone would hurt her. They say she was not robbed, she was still inside her work truck when police found her and they suspect she never got out of the car. 

"Anybody that's a mother, a sister, a brother, a father, a husband, children ,would have to know, want to know, what happened to their family," said Amy Moore, Williamson's older sister.

The family is hoping anyone with information will call Crimestoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS.

First Coast News

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