Woman Shot at Rest Stop Described as ‘Unique Artist’ with ‘Big Heart’

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Friends and family of Sharren Richards remember memories of the woman they say was taken away too soon.

Richards’s niece Susan Richards says friends and family weren't surprised to hear she was offering someone help moments before she was shot and killed at the Arkansas Welcome Center in Van Buren Tuesday morning.

"I want people to know that, you know that she was more than just a worker that got killed,” said Richards. “She was somebody that was loved and that had a family that loved her."

Pam Owens says her friend was a free spirit with a unique talent.

“She was a Native American artist and she went by the name Storm Wolf," said Owens.

Richards says her aunt spent time on a Cherokee Indian Reservation where she learned to appreciate nature.

"It was kind of like she was a story teller, but she didn't write it down on books,” said Richards. “She carved it."

Known for her story sticks and carved creations, relatives say Richards would sell her work at craft fairs like War Eagle. She also loved animals.

"She would rescue animals and she would bring them home and whatever was wrong with them, she'd nurse them back to health and then she would find good homes for them," said Owens.

Owens says Richards currently has 13 dogs at her home in Rudy. She says she made a promise to Richards to find them a new home if anything ever happened to her friend.

"She had a tender heart for everybody,” said Richards. “I don't think she knew a stranger. I mean she loved everybody, wanted to help everybody."

Friends and family are still looking for good homes for Richard’s dogs. They are currently being fostered by David Matevia. You can reach him at 479-208-3965, if you are interested in helping.

Richard’s body was sent to the Arkansas State Crime Lab in Little Rock. Family members say she’ll be buried next to her mother at the Minnow Creek Cemetery near Hagarville.

A memorial fund has been set up for Richards. Donations can be made to account number 507293371 at Citizens Bank in Van Buren.