Vigil for Tinsley: Friends, family gather to remember shooting victim

Friends and family of shooting victim Pherbia "Faye" Tinsley gathered in Forest Hills Park on Friday, July 20, at sundown for a candlelight vigil to remember the 51-year-old grandmother who was discovered dead in her car on Prospect Avenue on Saturday morning. According to the state medical examiner's office, Tinsley died of a gunshot wound to the neck. Police have released a description of the suspect in her death, but he remains at large.

"It's really hard," says Tinsley's 22-year-old daughter, Telambria Tinsley, who relied on her mother to care for her four-year-old daughter while she worked and took classes. Telambria, who lives in the Westhaven public housing complex on Hardy Drive, says Tinsley was the primary rent-payer on the Barracks Road apartment that her late mother shared with her fiancé, Sebastian Chavez, and their 19-year-old son, Romequez Chavez, an Army Reservist.

"We were together almost 21 years," says Sebastian Chavez.

A veteran, Chavez first met Tinsley at the Veterans Administration hospital in Salem. As previously reported, Tinsley suffered a head injury during her early 1980s Army service that rendered her unable to work but afforded her disability payments. Chavez says he lost his job selling cars just a few weeks before the slaying of his long-time partner. With Tinsley gone, both he and Telambria worry about making ends meet.

"I've got to look after my brother and my daughter now," says Telambria, who has opened a memorial account in her mother's name at Branch Banking and Trust and is pleading for donations to help with some of the financial burdens ensuing from her mother's death.

"We need a lot of help," she says.

Tinsley's funeral took place Saturday, July 21 at 11am at First Baptist Church on West Main Street.

–parts of story converted from present to past tense on Monday, July 23, for print publication

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1 comment

Tee, we love you. I am sorrowed so deeply for your loss, and the loss to your family and this community, of a very beautiful woman, your mom. We support you and your family in any way we can. May God be with you. You and your family shall rise as on the wings of eagles. Your friend, John Donohue