FedEx sufferer Samaria Blackwell, 19, dreamed of changing into a police officer – WISH-TV | Indianapolis Information | Indiana climate
Her family said 19-year-old Blackwell was a straight student who could do anything she wanted. But she wanted to be a police officer because of the heroes in her family, and she loved helping people.
She never got that chance.
Blackwell was one of eight people shot dead by a 19-year-old former FedEx employee who opened fire Thursday night at a FedEx facility near Indianapolis International Airport.
“My dad looked over at me and my mom grabbed my hand and said, ‘Baby, she didn’t make it. ‘That’s how I found out,’ said Blackwell’s close friend, Ellwell Jones.
A day of waiting, hopeless, was in vain for Jones and other Blackwell friends and family.
Blackwell finished home school last spring and was the youngest of four children.
Matt Barnes’ two daughters were both close friends of Blackwell and waited with their family at the designated hotel on Friday when families of FedEx employees were hoping to hear news from loved ones.
“She was the life of the party,” said Barnes.
Barnes said no matter how loving and caring Blackwell was of the field or the football field, she was adamant about it. Still, that love and care could show up in the middle of the competition.
“If she was out on the pitch and things got really bad, she’d say, ‘Hey, think of good things like God or something. ‘She would push people to get better,’ said Barnes.
Jones was one of Blackwell’s closest friends. They met first in the youth group and then again in the home school community.
“We didn’t like each other at first,” recalled Jones. “I would thank her for helping me become as strong as I am. I wouldn’t be so strong without her. It definitely shaped me. “
The family had been waiting since 3 a.m. on Friday without an official word. Thanks to an app, they knew where their phone was. It just didn’t respond to calls, texts, or other messages.
“They feared the worst,” said Barnes. “You were the last family to receive this notification.”
“I only heard that she was shot by someone she didn’t even know,” says Jones in mourning. “There was no reason for it.”
Blackwell worked at FedEx to make money and fulfill her ultimate dream of becoming a police officer. But Barnes said she had been there for about two months and not even been there long enough to qualify for life insurance.
“They need all the help they can get to do this financially,” he said.
Barnes opened an official GoFundMe account to help the family during this time.
He said the Blackwell family value prayers while holding on to their faith and an eternal hope.
“The family wants everyone to know that they are a family of faith. You love god. They knew Samaria loved God, ”said Barnes. “They said they couldn’t go through this without having that belief.”
News 8 reached out to FedEx to ask what life insurance or other benefits would be given to the victims in this case, even those who had only been on duty for a few weeks.
The company replied that it does not disclose details of our performance policy, but did publish this statement:
“FedEx is committed to serving the needs of our team members and their families affected by this tragedy. We continue to provide grief counseling and resources to our team members at our Indianapolis operations and communicate directly with affected employees and families to discuss additional support. “
Barnes made this full statement from Samariah’s parents Jeff and Tammi Blackwell:
“We are grateful for the love and support from our family. We also pray for the families of the other victims of this tragedy. As Samariah’s parents, we have been blessed by the Lord to have such a fun-loving, caring daughter as our family’s baby. As a baby she looked up to her siblings Elijah, Levi and Michaiah, whom she and her dog Jasper will miss very much. Samaria was persistent in everything she did from basketball and soccer to being a lifeguard for Indy parks. Her face was tough on the pitch or on the soccer field, but that quickly turned into an out-of-competition smile. Samaria loved people, especially people of advanced age. She always found time to invest in the older generation, whether through listening or serving. She spent hours helping Memaw Sue, from mulching flower beds to putting up Christmas decorations. As an intelligent, straight student, Samaria could have done anything she set out to do, and because she loved helping people, she dreamed of becoming a police officer. Although this dream has been shortened, we believe that she is rejoicing with her Savior in heaven right now. Philippians 1: 6 says, “I am sure that whoever started a good work in you will finish it…” For Samaria that work is complete and she sits with Jesus today. On this side of heaven we mourn, but not as those who have no hope, for we realize that Samaria’s life has only just begun. “