Ala. Grandmother Killed in Front of Grandchildren on Mother's Day, Was Rushing Kids to Safety in Final Moments

Gloria Crews, 64, was shot at her home during a Mother’s Day celebration

<p>Montgomery Police Department</p> Gloria Crews

Montgomery Police Department

Gloria Crews

The Alabama grandmother was celebrating Mother’s Day with her family when someone opened fire on the outdoor party just after 7 p.m. Sunday, May 12.

Gloria Crews, 64, was fatally struck as she reportedly rushed children playing outside back into her house to safety.

She collapsed on her Montgomery, Ala. lawn.

Crews was pronounced dead at the scene, according to Central Alabama Crime Stoppers, who are offering a $1,000 cash award to “anyone who may have seen something or know something” and comes forward with “information that leads to the identification and arrest of the shooter.”

Tony A. Garrett, Executive Director at Central Alabama CrimeStoppers, confirms to PEOPLE that three Montgomery City Council members have put another $15,000 toward the total award.

Crews’s daughter, Lakesha Crews, called her mother “a sweet and special soul,” on a GoFundMe set up for funeral expenses. (GoFundMe verified the authenticity of the fundraiser to PEOPLE.)

“She was a mother, grandmother, sister, caregiver, and friend to so so many,” Lakesha adds. “She touched a lot of people with her kind words and acts.”

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At 7:02 p.m. Sunday, police and fire medics rushed to Crews’s home on the 4200 block of Cobbington Road on a report of a person shot, the Montgomery Police Department said in a press release emailed to PEOPLE. But first responders were unable to revive the grandmother.

No arrests have yet been made, according to police who say the case is still under investigation.

Major Saba Coleman declined to provide additional information to PEOPLE on the ongoing homicide investigation.

Earlier that Sunday morning, Crews had attended church where she sang in the choir, before returning home to host a Mother’s Day celebration with several generations of her family, reports.

“She had a servant’s heart for the Lord,’’ friend and employer Carron Morrow told the outlet, adding: “She didn’t have a bad bone in her body.”

Crews — who was killed in front of her grandchildren — was helping raise her 6-year-old nephew and serving as the caretaker to her 84-year-old mother, per, which reported that Crews worked three jobs, including one as a caterer.

Morrow said Crews had texted her “an hour before” the shooting “to wish me a Happy Mother’s Day.”

When Crews’s brother called to tell her that she had been killed, “I immediately started crying,” says Morrow, who first met Crews when the deceased was 16.

“The devil will not win this battle,” Morrow added, noting that she plans to attend an upcoming city council meeting to discuss gun violence in the area.

Anyone with information about the identity or whereabouts of the shooter is encouraged to call the Montgomery Police Department at (334)625-2831, Secret Witness at (334)625-4000 or Central Alabama Crime Stoppers at their 24-hour tip line: 334-215-STOP (7867) or 1-833-AL1-STOP (251-7867) or to download the P3-tips app.

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