Friends of victim stunned after Newport shooting

Friends of victim stunned after Newport shooting

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Monday Update: Friends of Vanessa Thomas said they were stunned to hear what happened to the mother of 4 Friday night.

One of those friends Dametria Clark said she knew Thomas well and lived close to her.

She said the 1 thing she would miss the most about her friend is her infectious smile.

"She didn't meet a stranger, she was a friend to everyone and her smile just brightened up your day," Clark said. "So if you were having a bad day, it was like there's Vanessa's smile, I mean you know, that's that smile we're looking for so she made me happy."

Clark is also a mother and could not imagine what her friend's children and family were going through.

She and others who knew Thomas said she would be missed not only as a neighbor but a good friend.

People who live in the area where the shooting happened said it has been quieter since the shooting.

Some even say they are scared to go outside.

Newport police are still searching for the person or people responsible.

The Newport Police Department is investigating a Friday night murder.

According to a press release from the department, officers responded to the area of Hout Circle around 11:31 p.m. in reference to a shooting.

The preliminary investigation shows that Vanessa Thomas, 30, of Newport was a passenger in a car traveling through the area.

One or more suspects started shooting at the vehicle, hitting it several times. One or more of those bullets hit Thomas.

The driver of the car took Thomas to a local hospital where she was later pronounced dead.

During the shooting, at least one other car, one home and the Shearer Community Center were hit with bullets.

The shooting is being investigating by the Newport Police Department and the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigations Division.

Anyone with information about the incident is urged to contact the Newport Police Department at 870-523-2722.

Region 8 News will have more information as details emerge. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for up to the minute updates.

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