COLUMBIA – For a year and a half, the Haley family said they spent hours sitting on the front porch of their duplex getting to know their next-door neighbor, 54-year-old Laura Meyers.
Meyers was one of two women killed in a weekend shooting on Boyd Lane, east of Columbia.
“We loved her,” Dimonte Haley said. “She was like a mother figure to me. My children too. She will be greatly missed.”
Columbia police said Meyers and 22-year-old Leah Johna Sanders were shot and killed Saturday night.
On Sunday, the Haley family spent time preparing a memorial for their neighbor with balloons and flowers.
The family’s young daughters left behind drawings and handwritten notes that included hearts, mountains and the words ‘RIP we love you guys’.
DiMonte’s daughter Taylor said she wrote the note for a simple reason.
“I wanted to make them something,” Taylor said. “And to have it out there so a lot of people can know how amazing they are.”
Another read simply ‘Laura/Laurie’, a testament to Laura, as the Haleys affectionately called Laurie.
Haleys said the victims were kind and generous, the kind of neighbors you dream of.
“Great people,” DiMonte said. “The kind of people you want to live next to.”
Taylor agreed with her father.
“She’ll do it if it’s really hot outside [Laura] Give us popsicles and sometimes she’d let us go inside her house,” Taylor said. “She was never a bad person. She was very kind. “…
Demonte said Meyers was “one of the most giving people. She was always giving to my kids.”
He mentioned this week that Meyers brought apples and cereal for his daughters. Simple gestures like that resonated deeply with Haleys.
Columbia police have arrested a man in connection with the shooting death. Click here to read more about his arrest.