‘Instead of looking at what happened, look at who they were:’ Family remembers 3 killed at shopping center

The good memories are what Durant prefers to remember about each one of her family members
Published: Jan. 17, 2022 at 4:14 PM EST
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Standing at Landfall Shopping center Monday, you’d never know what happened a little more than a day before.

On Saturday, three lives were lost after another family member allegedly fired shots in the parking lot, forever changing the lives of the Robinson family.

“This is a really traumatic event and nobody wants to be remembered by a bad thing that happened. I think we should focus on who they were as people,” said Gail Durant.

Durant’s aunt, Diretta Robinson, was killed at the shopping center, alongside Durant’s cousins, Trina Robinson, and 13-year-old Isaiah Robinson.

Several relatives gathered Monday morning on the porch of the family’s home in Hampstead. From wooden rocking chairs, the tight knit Robinson crew wiped tears as they shared the stories of the three loved ones lost.

According to Durant, Diretta was the matriarch of the tight knit family. They recalled how she loved to cook, and was the one who singlehandedly prepared Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners each year.

Diretta’s was a face many in Hampstead knew well, having worked in food service for decades at Hardees and Bojangles.

“Diretta was the nicest person you’ll ever meet. She would give the shirt off her back, they didn’t even need to ask, if she felt like they were in need, that’s what she would do,” said Durant.

Diretta also took care of her grandson, 13- year-old Isaiah.

The boy attended Surf City Middle School. He liked to play Roblox on XBOX and enjoyed trips to get food at Highway 55.

“Isaiah... he was the sweetest kid you’d ever meet, he was always smiling and respectful,” said Durant.

Also killed this weekend was Trina Robinson.

Her daughter, Michaela Robinson, remembers she loved to shop, and always took care of people, whether it was in her early work at a nursing home, or her later years lending a hand to her family.

Trina had recently moved to Wilmington, where her daughter lived.

“I never expected anything like this to ever happen. It was.. I’m still in shock, I cant even believe it,” said daughter Michaela Robinson. “She was giving and caring. She loved her family more than anything.”

The tight family bond rang true for each one of the Robinsons. The daily chats, the cookouts and the check-ins are moments the surviving family members will carry with them in the years to come.

The good memories are what Durant prefers to remember each one of her family members, rather than the cruel way all three left the world.

“They’re people, you know; they had lives before this incident happened, and instead of looking at what happened, look at who they were, what they did, and how they loved anybody. [It] wouldn’t matter if you knew them or not,” said Durant.

Family members are still in the process of making funeral arrangements and plan to share memorial service information at a later date.

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