Story by Denny Han/Staff writer/@Dennyh_ photo courtesy of Buckner’s gofundme page.
LBCC student Kenia Buckner, 31, a single mother working her way through college and into a nursing career, left behind three children after she was allegedly shot and killed by her ex-boyfriend, Antowan Parker, 27, in her Bellflower home on Monday, Jan. 16.
Help for the family poured in from friends and the LBCC community when Buckner’s colleagues at the LBCC Instructional Technology Development Center started a GoFundMe campaign, raising $4,777 as of March 7, with the page having been shared over 1,200 times throughout social media, according to GoFundMe analytics.
The Black Student Union-sponsored “Mocktails and Canvas” event brought in further funding Feb. 23, where half the proceeds are expected to be donated to the campaign. LBCC college spokeswoman Stacey Toda said the Associated Student Body has not totaled the final donation amount as of March 2.
Debra Buckner, Kenia’s mother, explained via email the impact her daughter had on those around her. “Kenia has always been a joy to be around; smart clever and ambitious. She is loving and caring. She was an absolutely incredible mom and would prepare a full-course meal everyday for her children. She was even a comedian in her own right. I love and will miss her sense of humor and beautiful smile.”
Cherie Sterling, 33, a human services major, met Kenia while they both worked at the tech center lab and became friends soon after.
“She was a beautiful, hard working spirit,” Sterling said. “She was a great friend to me right off the bat. I was having car problems and she’d help me out. I was having family problems and she’d be my shoulder to cry on. And her children meant the world to her. She would do anything for them. Her dedication to school was to make a better life for them.”
Buckner’s supervisor at the tech center, Hussam Kashou, described her as “a woman of high moral character, well-mannered with a pure heart full of kindness. She was always smiling and a person full of grace, poise and empathy. She was an exemplary employee, highly intelligent with an outstanding work ethic and a joy to work with.”
While many who donated to the GoFundMe campaign had known Buckner personally, there were also many who did so of their own good will.
Alan Hopkins, a mathmatics and engineering professor at LBCC, explained, “I gave money in part to help with their loss and also to show that the LBCC community cares about their students in both good and bad times.”
Antowan Parker is the father of her children and is currently being sought by police after witnesses reportedly saw Parker enter Buckner’s home with a pistol at about 1:34 p.m.
Lt. Joe Mendoza of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department told the Los Angeles Times, “In front of their children, in their living room, he pulls out a gun and fires toward the victim multiple times, striking her at least one time in the upper torso.”
Anyone with information regarding the case is encouraged to contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500.
People who wish to donate to Buckner’s ongoing GoFundMe campaign can do so at https://www.gofundme.com/KeniaBuckner