Sonya Marie Lolley SmithBirth: February 7, 1966
Death: March 10, 2009
Mrs. Sonya Marie Lolley Smith of Samson, Alabama passed away Tuesday, March 10, 2009. She was 43.
Funeral services will be 2:00 p.m. Saturday, March 14, in the Shady Grove Assembly of God Church with Rev. Donnie Earles officiating. Burial will follow in the church cemetery with Sorrells Funeral Home of Geneva directing. Mrs. Smith will be placed into the church one hour prior to service time. The family will receive friends at the funeral home in Geneva, Friday, March 13, from 6 until 8 p.m. Flowers will be accepted or memorial contributions may be made to the Shady Grove Cemetery Fund.
Sonya was born February 7, 1966, in Orlando, Florida to the late William Grover and Melba Creech Lolley. Sonya was a very loving and devoted wife, mother and sister. She loved everyone, especially her family and coworkers. She was a very hard working person and always saw to the need of everyone. She attended Shady Grove Assembly of God Church.
In addition to her parents, her grandparents, A.D. and Mildred Creech and John and Lula Lolley preceded her in death.
Survivors include her husband Wilfred Wade Smith; one daughter, Chelsea Lee; one son, Wilfred Tyler Smith all of Samson, AL; one step-son, Christopher Wade Smith, Defuniak Springs, FL; one sister, Kathy Lolley; one brother, Freddie Lolley, both of Samson, AL; three nephews, Phillip Doty, Mobile, AL, Charles Doty, Samson, AL and Zach Johnson, Sweet Gum Head, FL; two nieces, Amy Doty, Samson, AL and Brooke Johnson, Chipley, FL; father and mother-in-law, Wilfred and Ruth Smith; sister-in-law, Cindy (Kenny) Jones, all of Sweet Gum Head, FL; several special aunts, uncles, cousins, other extended family and friends.
Burial: Shady Grove Cemetery, Samson, Geneva County, Alabama, USA
Geneva County Massacre
The victims were:
- Lisa White McLendon, 52, Michael McLendon's mother
- James Alford White, 55, McLendon's uncle
- Tracy Michelle Wise, 34, daughter of James White
- Dean James Wise, 15, son of Tracy Wise
- Virginia E. White, 74, McLendon's grandmother
- Andrea Dawn Myers, 31
- Corrine Gracy Myers, 18 months, daughter of Andrea Myers
- James Irvin Starling, 24
- Sonya Lolley Smith, 43 Bruce Wilson Maloy, 51
Don Atwell - Mar. 12, 2009
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Alabama Department of Public Safety
MONTGOMERY – State, federal and local investigators responding to the multiple homicides March 10 in south Alabama are piecing together the sequence of events that resulted in the shooting deaths of 10 victims, the injury of six individuals, and the death of the suspect from a self-inflicted gunshot. Investigators also are working to determine a motive for the deadly attacks.
The gunman has been identified as Michael Kenneth McLendon, 28, of Coffee County.
We believe the attacks began at McLendon's mother's residence in Coffee County on County Road 474 in Kinston, where McLendon also lived. The body of a woman was discovered at the residence at approximately 3:30 p.m. when local firefighters responded to witness reports of a fire at that location. The Department of Forensic Sciences is working to confirm the identity, but the victim is believed to be Lisa White McLendon, 52, McLendon's mother.
McLendon then traveled to Samson in Geneva County, where he shot and killed five individuals on the front porch of his uncle's residence on West Pullum Street. The victims are identified as:
- Corrine Gracy Myers, 18 months, the daughter of Geneva County Deputy Josh Myers
- Andrea D. Myers, 31, mother of the 18-month-old and wife of Deputy Myers
- James Alford White, 55, identified as McLendon's uncle
- Tracy Michelle Wise, 34, identified as McLendon's cousin
- Dean James Wise, 15, identified as Ms. Wise's son and McLendon's second cousin
Injured at that residence was 4-month-old Ella K. Myers, the daughter of Deputy Myers. Ella was transported by LifeFlight to Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola. This morning she was listed in stable condition and scheduled for surgery.
McLendon then shot and killed Virginia E. White, 74, identified as McLendon's grandmother, who was standing in the doorway of her home on Pullum Street, next door to the residence where the first attack occurred.
McLendon then left Pullum Street, traveling north on Wise Street in a red 2003 Mitsubishi. On Wise Street, McLendon shot and killed a pedestrian, James Irvin Starling, 24. McLendon continued north onto Main Street in Samson, where he shot and injured Jeffrey Lynn Nelson, 50.
McLendon then traveled to the Inland Gas Station on Main Street in Samson, where he shot and killed Sonja Smith, 43. Injured at that location was Greg McCullough, 49. McLendon continued traveling east on Alabama 52, firing rounds into several businesses and vehicles as he drove.
At 4:01 p.m. CDT, an Alabama state trooper notified the Dothan State Trooper Post that he had received a report of a subject shooting at people in Samson, and the trooper proceeded toward Samson on Alabama 52.
McLendon, traveling east on Highway 52 toward Geneva, then shot and killed Bruce Wilson Malloy, 51, who was traveling in a vehicle on 52.
At 4:06 p.m. CDT, the Alabama state trooper encountered McLendon on Alabama 52, and McLendon fired at least seven rounds into the trooper's vehicle. The trooper, Mike Gillis, was injured slightly by broken glass, and continued the pursuit on McLendon into Geneva.
The Geneva Police Department attempted to stop McLendon using a PIT, or pursuit intervention maneuver, in front of the Wal-Mart in Geneva. McLendon fired several rounds into the officer's vehicle, injuring him with glass fragments. Geneva Police Chief Frankie Lindsey attempted to block McLendon's exit from the area, at which time McLendon fired several rounds at the chief. Chief Lindsey was wounded in the shoulder.
McLendon continued on Highway 52, turned onto Maple Avenue in Geneva, and then onto Highway 27 north. He stopped at Reliable Products in Geneva at 4:17 p.m., where he exited his vehicle. McLendon exchanged fire with a Geneva County deputy and a state Conservation officer before entering the Reliable Products building. Within minutes, gunshots were heard, and McLendon was discovered dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
McLendon was employed at Kelley Foods of Alabama. We have identified that in 2003, he was briefly employed as a police officer in Samson, but failed to complete required training at the police academy in Montgomery. He had no known criminal record.
McLendon was armed with two assault rifles, an SKS and a Bushmaster, using high-capacity magazines taped together; a shotgun; and a .38-caliber handgun. At this time we believe that he fired in excess of 200 rounds during the assaults.
In addition to the Alabama Department of Public Safety, agencies participating in the investigation are the Geneva County Sheriff's Department, Geneva Police Department, Samson Police Department, Coffee County Sheriff's Department, Dothan Police Department, Dale County Sheriff's Department, Andalusia Police Department, Covington County Sheriff's Department, New Brockton Police Department, Ozark Police Department, State Fire Marshal, Alabama Beverage Control Board, Conservation and Natural Resources, Department of Forensic Sciences, Emergency Management Agency, Alabama Power Company investigators, the FBI, ATF, and Ft. Rucker Police Department.