HENRICO, Va. (WRIC) — The local faith community is mourning after the tragic death of Presbyterian Minister Shannon O’Leary Saturday night in her neighborhood. O’Leary was struck and killed by a driver who fled the scene.
19-year-old Meleana Klenota from Henrico was arrested and charged with felony hit and run after neighbors said O’Leary walked her dog mere feet from the 43-year-old’s own home near Meadowgreen Road.
“She loved, just loved and loved on” said Rev. Todd Davidson, pastor at Sandston Presbyterian Church where O’Leary ministered for several years as interim pastor.
“The folks here are just devastated,” he said, noting her devotion to her congregation, two children and husband.
A memorial of flowers and candles sits in the front yard where O’Leary died around 9 p.m. on Saturday.
Davidson says O’Leary was known as someone with overwhelming compassion, she is remembered for “visiting people, talking with people. One of the things that she was well-known for in this congregation was praying with people.“
He said a hymn she once shared reflects who she was, and the grief left behind.
“‘My heart shall sing of the day you bring, let the fires of your justice burn. Wipe away all tears, for the dawn draws near and the world is about to turn,'” he read from the song entitled ‘Canticle of the Turning.’
“And there are, there are many tears,” he added.