Women killed in Madison County surprise birthday party shooting called ‘beautiful’ and ‘ambitious’

By William Thornton 

Quantasia Grant was shot to death during a gun battle at a birthday party in Huntsville on Saturday, Jan. 7, 2023. (GoFundMe)

Tributes were posted online Monday to the two women killed in a mass shooting Saturday night in Madison County that saw a total of 13 people wounded at a surprise 21st birthday party.

Kaitlyn Jenkins, 20, and Quantasia Grant, 20, both died on the scene, Madison County Sheriff Kevin Turner said at a Monday press conference.

Three others are being treated at Huntsville Hospital in critical condition. A total of 13 people were wounded in a shooting at Legacy Events on U.S. 72 near Ryland Pike at about 10:30 p.m.

Ashton Elliot, 20, and DeMarcus Thompson, 19, are facing charges of reckless murder in the shooting. Turner said more arrests are expected, following a gun battle that erupted were more than 200 shell casings collected by investigators.

A GoFundMe page has been set up for funeral expenses for Grant by her mother, Antionette.

She remembered Quantasia, a native of Sarasota, Fla., by her nickname “Scooter Burke” – given “because she never wanted to walk. She always scooted across the floor.”

“Her last words to me were, ‘Mommy, I want to see what the world has for me,’” she said. “My daughter was young, adventurous, and ambitious…I never wanted her to leave me, but I realized she had her own path to walk. She was my last baby girl and I believed in her and her dreams, I am trusting in God and not leaning on my own understanding to see me through.”

WAFF is reporting that Alabama A&M University released a statement on Jenkins’ death:

“The Alabama A&M University Family mourns the recent death of Kaitlyn Jenkins, an AAMU student who was one of two, 20-year-old women killed during an off-campus birthday party event held over the weekend. Deepest condolences are extended to the families of both Ms. Jenkins and Ms. Quantasia Grant, as well as the victims injured in what law enforcement officials have defined as ‘reckless.’”

On Facebook, Tasha Sheppard said Jenkins was a “beautiful, sweet, smart young lady.”

“Any time you hear this kind of news your heart hurts but it’s even worse when you know them,” Sheppard said, adding that Jenkins was “one of those children that you just knew would be successful and I was looking forward to seeing that. My thoughts and prayers for the family and praying her mother’s strength during this difficult time.”