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Daughter, son, remember mother killed in Norfolk mass shooting

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Posted at 3:12 PM, Nov 08, 2021

NORFOLK, Va. - Tears flow from Siera Elerson's eyes as she describes her mother.

"Her smile lit up a room her laugh was so contagious you could just feel her love, she was an amazing angel everyone that met her loved her," said Siera Elerson.

Sarah Costine's light was extinguished last Wednesday night.

"Mom got shot, mom got shot mom got shot, " Elerson said describing her 13-year-old brother who made a startling phone call. "We were on Facetime and he flipped the camera and she is lying there."

Elerson learned that her mom was shot through that call. Sarah's three youngest children were jumping on a trampoline in the courtyard of Young Terrace in Norfolk watched as their mother was murdered.

"I said is she blinking he said, is she moving he said no, is she breathing, he said "no," so I knew she was gone," said Elerson.

The 44-year-old who went by her Muslim name Sa’idah had just come from work when she heard the gunfire. So she ran out to help the 19-year-old pregant teen that was shot .

Police say 19-year-old Ziontay Palmer also murdered Nicole Lovewine, 45; and her partner Detra Brown, 42; and injured two other women. Police say Palmer and the pregnant teenager got into an argument and the altercation turned horrific.

"The autopsy said she was shot through her left elbow and it went to her chest, she saw it coming and tried to block it," said Elerson.

Sarah's son, William who was on a deployment from the Navy said his mother was a giver, so its no surprise she ran to render aid.

"People will will always remember her as being a hero, she would give anyone the shirt off her back," he said.

Costine had moved to Norfolk for a fresh start, after four bouts with different cancers, a fire and then a flood that gutted her home.

"She has been through a lot she had breast cancer twice, uterine cancer twice, and ovarian cancer," said Elerson. "That we she actually had an appointment to make sure the cancer was 100 percent gone."

With her health improving, two days after she was killed she was set to move out of the Young Terrace community to a new apartment.

"She was so excited about it ready to get out of there ," said Siera.

All of her six children have stopped by the burgeoning memorial, a place where their selfless determined mother is being remembered with small gifts, notes, candles and teddy bears.

"I stood in exact place she took her last breath and I just grabbed the dirt and connected with her one last time," said Siera.

A Go Fund Me has been created for Costine's six children -- the youngest being just six years old -- they are all being cared for by family and siblings and they are working to plan a funeral for their mother this week.

Other families have also set up Go Fund Me pages to help, click here to view Nicole's page and click here to view Detra's page.

Related: 'It shook me to my core. I can only imagine what it did to those kids': Police chief sends emotional message after mass shooting