Tamya Ewing-Somerville, 20, was fatally shot on Saturday night in Covington

There will be a candlelight vigil Wednesday evening to honor the life of a young woman killed in a mass shooting in Covington Saturday night.

Tamya Ewing-Somerville, who had dreams of becoming a nurse and had just turned 20 last month, was shot to death during an event honoring the life of a classmate who’d died. She was a 2021 graduate of Covington High School.

“It was supposed to be a positive event,” Sarah Ewing, Tamya’s mother, told the media.

“Tamya was unfortunately shot when chaos erupted at the Event Center and several individuals began aimlessly shooting. Four others were also shot during the incident. Three of those were treated for their injuries and released and one still remains hospitalized after surgery,” said sheriff Shannon Beasley.
Other victims have not yet been identified by police.
Tipton County deputies respond to a mass shooting at The Event Center in Covington on Saturday, Sept. 23, 2023.

Detectives were dispatched to the venue, located outside the city limits on Hwy. 51 North, and learned that at least one victim was shot inside the club and other victims were shot outside. They said evidence on scene suggests there were multiple shooters in various areas in and around the Event Center.

Video filmed at the scene show people scattering from inside the venue when gunshots rang out. In another, a party-goer described the traumatic incident and said she and one of the victims tried to shield each other.

The venue’s co-owner, Bessie Ivory, said the people she believes are responsible for the shooting were not on the guest list. Armed security was provided for the event, however she said the gunmen forced their way in.

No arrests have yet been made and no suspects have been named by the sheriff, who is pleading with the public for help in bringing justice for Tamya and her family.

“We know there are people who saw those responsible for this murder and I urge you to help us fight for Tamya and bring them to justice,” the sheriff said. “We just ask you to follow your heart and do the right thing.”

The candlelight vigil and balloon release will take place at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Canaan Baptist Church.

“Our hearts are absolutely broken and our thoughts and prayers remain with Tamya’s family. Our emotions range between grief for Tamya and her family and anger that such cowards would begin shooting amongst an innocent crowd of people and cause the damage they’ve done,” the sheriff said. “I have spoken with Tamya’s family and words can’t express the nightmare they are living right now. As I’ve already said, we will leave no stone unturned as we search for these cowards in order to bring justice for Tamya. May God lay his hand upon her family and bring them comfort during this time.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact the sheriff’s office at (901) 475-3307 or Central Dispatch at (901) 475-4300 to leave tips. You may also message the Sheriff Shannon Beasley page on Facebook.
Echo Day
Author: Echo Day

Echo Day is an award-winning journalist, photographer and designer. She is currently The Leader's managing editor.