A grandmother driving home from her job assisting homeless mothers at an Atlanta charity was shot and killed in her minivan early Sunday morning, PEOPLE confirms.
Police continue to investigate the slaying of 49-year-old Beverly Jenkins, who was found dead from a gunshot to the head in her green Honda Odyssey around 12:30 a.m. Sunday, according to an incident report obtained by PEOPLE.
“Someone took her life and it has left us broken hearted,” her family wrote in a GoFundMe post requesting help to pay for her funeral and future scholarships for her kids and grandkids. “We are at a loss without her. We do not know the full story and are struggling to make sense of this all.”
The family continued: “We want to focus on her life and her bright sunshine that is her essence. Together, we choose to celebrate her life and the joy she brought to others. We choose to bring forward her laughter and her love that we know touched so many lives.”
Jenkins was a mother of five and a grandmother of four married to her high school sweetheart, said family friend William Miller, according to Atlanta TV news station WSB.
“They had been together since they were 17 years old and raised a family together,” he said.
Jenkins was traveling after making a stop for gas on the way home from her job at City of Refuge, a charitable organization, when she was hit by the gunshot that caused her minivan to careen down an embankment.
A 911 caller alerted police, who responded and found Jenkins dead in her vehicle.
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A statement from City of Refuge said Jenkins worked as a resident services advocate in its transitional housing program, which assists single women and moms, and was “an advocate for peace.”
“In her tenure with City of Refuge, she has been a tremendous blessing to all and left a lasting impression on so many lives,” said the statement, which also linked to a fundraising campaign for her family “to lighten the heavy burden her absence leaves behind.”
Family friend Miller told WSB: “This is what she gave to all of us — a love and connection that just fundamentally lifted us all up — and for that to be taken from us in some heinous act of violence, it has really shaken everyone to the core.”