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Dad desperate for answers after daughter killed on graduation day

Posted at 3:56 PM, May 16, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-17 07:49:48-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- When Don Gardner said goodbye to his daughter Tanna following their post-graduation dinner celebration at Bonefish Grill on Saturday, he had no way of knowing it would be the last time he saw his first born child.

"I'm an angry father right now, I am a hurt father right now, I am a father that is on a mission right now. I cannot describe to you the pain for all the families involved," he said.

Mr. Gardner was in Richmond this weekend, along with friends and family, to see Tanna graduate, with honors, from Virginia Union.

After dinner, Tanna went out with friends to continue the graduation celebration.

During their night out, her group got into an argument with another group outside a Shockoe Bottom nightclub, her father said.

When Tanna and her friends drove off for the night, the other group followed.

"You feel powerless as a parent," said Gardner. "I was not here to protect my child."

As Tanna drove along I-95 in downtown Richmond, someone in that other car opened fire.

Two women killed in I-95 shooting

Tanna, 23, and her 26-year-old friend Sharayne Holland were killed.

“This is the worst feeling in the world, worst feeling. No words. Right now. Can’t believe it. Three lives, these people have been affected by cowards,” Don Gardner said.

Gardner said he was prepared to offer a $5,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of his daughter's killer.

Gardner, who’s battling cancer says he made a promise to Tanna he won’t rest until someone pays for this crime.

"For you to walk around with firepower in your car like that, on a college setting, where people go just to have a good time and to track somebody down and execute them, to me, there is no place, I swear to God, there is no place that I want you to even think about hiding," he said.

The shooter who killed Gardner and Holland was in a white four-door sedan, according to Virginia State Police.

Anyone who may have witnessed the shooting or has information was asked to call Virginia State Police at 804-553-3445. News tips and photos can be sent here.