"There was nothing in her relationship with Lamar that indicated this type of trouble," a friend tells PEOPLE

By Steve Helling and Hilary Shenfeld
Updated August 17, 2015 04:00 PM
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Credit: Courtesy Band Night

E’Dena Hines, the step-granddaughter of actor Morgan Freeman, talked warmly about her boyfriend Lamar Davenport and her friends believed he loved her, a pal tells PEOPLE.

Hines’ future was tragically cut short when the 33-year-old budding actress was brutally stabbed to death. In a statement to PEOPLE, the New York Police Department named Davenport as the alleged killer. Davenport, 30, was charged with second-degree murder on Monday.

He had not been arraigned by Monday afternoon and no plea has been entered. No lawyer has yet been identified as representing him.

Those close to Hines are shocked at the grisly killing.

“There was nothing in her relationship with Lamar that indicated this type of trouble,” Hines’ friend Tami Dunn told PEOPLE. “At least, she didn’t tell her friends about it. He was quiet and not the most social person I had ever met, but he didn’t have any dark energy.”

“He seemed to love her, and she talked about him positively, whenever she talked about him. That’s why it’s such a shock.”

Hines was a talented budding actress, known to friends and family for her quirky sense of humor and optimistic outlook. “She was into having fun. Always making jokes, always smiling,” friend Tami Dunn said. “She had a bright future ahead of her.”

A Gruesome Death

The sounds of Hines being killed woke people in nearby buildings. George Hudacko tells PEOPLE that he heard the sounds of “grunting and moaning.” The sounds soon became more chilling: He says he heard “screaming and the name ‘Lamar.'”

When Hudacko looked out the window, “There was a young lady laying with her head facing my building,” he recalls. “She was wearing cutoffs and a maroon top. There was a dude over her with his hand going up and down.”

“I heard that same man saying, ‘In the name of Jesus Lord God, Demons, I command you.’ Or something like that,” Hudcako continues. “He thought he was doing an exorcism.”

Horrified, Hudacko called 911.

While he was on the line, he tells PEOPLE, “I still can hear the girl screaming,” he tells PEOPLE. “Occasionally, she says, ‘Lamar stop.’ I can still see his hand moving up and down.”

According to Hudacko, there was at least one other witness. “One guy was saying, ‘Lamar, get off her.’ I heard someone else saying the police were coming.”

Friends and Relatives Grieve

Hines had been a graduate student in the three-year graduate acting program at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts from 2008 to 2011.

“I was lucky enough to work with E’dena on two shows during her time at Grad Acting, and saw her recently when she came back to the city. She was such a force, so vibrant,” says Department Chair Mark Wing-Davey.

“She was so full of life,” adds Dunn. “It’s hard to believe that she’s gone.”

In a statement to PEOPLE, Morgan Freeman reflected on her talent and how she touched the lives of those who knew her.

“The world will never know her artistry and talent, and how much she had to offer,” he said. “Her friends and family were fortunate enough to have known what she meant as a person.

“Her star will continue to shine bright in our hearts, thoughts and prayers. May she rest in peace.”

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