Friends remember woman killed in east Wichita shooting

Friends of Norma Williams say she was a wonderful wife, mother, grandmother, sister and friend to all.
Published: Sep. 4, 2023 at 4:12 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Friends and family of 69-year-old Norma Williams are speaking for the first time after she was tragically killed in a shooting in east Wichita, Friday.

The family said Williams and her husband were heading home after a football game when she was shot after police said the couple was chased by a group of street bike racers.

Williams was a mother, grandmother, sister, wife and friend to anyone who met her.

“Norma was everybody’s best friend. She loved everybody,” said April Quillin, friend and instructor at Pure Barre Wichita. “To not have her anymore is devastating. It’s devastating to everybody who has known her and it’s unfortunate that more people don’t get to know her and be in her world because she was so very special to everybody.”

Williams was a regular at Pure Barre Wichita where she worked out. But, instructors and other clients, who were also friends, said it was never just a workout when it came to Williams.

“I got to be right next to Norma, I don’t think I stood next to anyone else except for Norma,” said Erika Powell, client and friend. “The two of us were always in trouble in the back. We were literally in the back corner and it was always ‘What are you two doing back there? What are you talking about? Why are you laughing? Do you want to share with the class?’ Working out yesterday in class was tough because I didn’t have my partner to look at.”

She was a partner to all and always stood in the back corner of the studio. Now instead of Williams working out in her corner, it stands as a memorial.

“It’s devastating. That’s all there is to it. She should be here,” said Samantha Shade, friend and instructor at Pure Barre. “She should be in my class, her class, tomorrow. Both of them probably because that’s who she was. She’d take both and everybody would be like ‘You’re insane,’ and we’d be like ‘Yeah, we know because she’s Norma.’”

The three said they’ll continue telling the stories of Williams so that those who didn’t get the chance to meet her, will know how special she was.

“It’s that wave of sadness, knowing that you’re just not going to see her. And hurt for her family, especially for her grandkids. They lost a huge piece of their life. I just wish everybody would have had a chance to meet her,” said Quillin.

The family has created a GoFundMe to cover funeral expenses. If you’d like to donate, click here.