Murdered mom was ‘a light to the world’ in Augusta

Friends say a local mom was so full of grace and determination that you’d never know the turmoil of her home life – domestic violence, court orders, and fights.
Published: Mar. 16, 2023 at 4:35 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Friends say a local mom was so full of grace and determination that you’d never know the turmoil of her home life – domestic violence, court orders, and fights.

The turmoil eventually took her life, according to authorities.

Deputies say Commen Gunn, 48, was shot late Wednesday in the 200 block of Brandywine Place by her husband, Shawn Gunn. He’s in the hospital now after a shootout with deputies, authorities say.

Law enforcement reports show there were years of conflicts between the couple.


She’d sought help before through Safe Homes and had filed temporary restraining orders against her husband, who had a history of arrests.

Friends say they’re devastated.

“I was just devastated because if you knew Commen or saw her around, you would just never think that she was going through all of that, you know, and she was still pressing forward,” said her friend Samantha Avera. “It was just very heartbreaking. I mean, it just really shook me up all day. It really did.”

That speaks a lot about her perseverance and her character, Avera said.

From left: Shawn Gunn and Commen Gunn
From left: Shawn Gunn and Commen Gunn(Contributed)

There may have been hints here and there.

“Protecting my peace is my number one priority,” Commen Gunn said in her last Facebook post, just a few hours before she was killed.

She was someone who gave back to the community by organizing the Augusta Legends Awards, an all-white party at Bentlee’s Closet, the Augusta Grammy’s, and a pop-up shop for the Masters.

She was an example that when people take time out of their day to create something for the community they live in, “that means they’re going above and beyond them just working and making money,” said Ronic West of the Augusta Black Chamber of Commerce.

“It’s a huge loss when you lose somebody like that in the community,” West said.

There were flowers in her honor Thursday outside Bentlee’s Closet, the Augusta children’s boutique she named after her daughter so kids could dress up affordably.

It wasn’t just her philanthropy but also her personality that made a difference in the world.

“She was just always supportive,” Avera said. “She just was genuinely a loving person. If you met her, you felt like you have always known her forever.”

West said: “She’s always very bubbly ... a light. Like every time you’ve seen her, you always knew she was going to give you a smile. It’s going to be hard to go into rooms and not see her there.”

She was someone with a “big personality,” Avera said – and a big heart to go with that.

“She was bold,” Avera said. “When she thought it, she was going to say it. But she always handled you with love.”


And she was always there for her daughter.

“She was just so loving, so supportive. She was her daughter’s biggest advocate,” Avera said. “When I think about a mother-daughter relationship, they’re the first ones that come to mind because everything she did was about, you know: establishing some type of foundation for her daughter. She was just all about that.”

Either way, her death is a loss not just to her daughter but to many, her friends said.

“It’s a great loss to the community,” Averea said. “She’s such a light to the world.”