Less than a week after her alleged killer took his own life during a standoff with police, Velencia Compton was remembered by her fellow sailors as a hard worker and a doting mother who aspired to be a Navy dentist.
More than 200 sailors and Marines from Naval Hospital Beaufort and Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island held a memorial service Tuesday for Compton, 21, who was shot and killed, allegedly by her ex-boyfriend, on Jan. 26.
Capt. Edward Simmer, the hospital's executive officer, said Compton left an indelible mark on her friends and colleagues and on the branch dental clinic on Parris Island, where she served.
"Marines sometimes get a little nervous about going to the dentist, and (Compton) was so engaging and had a great smile and really helped disarm and comfort them," Simmer said. "She was very hardworking, very motivated, and really had wanted to become a Navy dentist."
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"Everyone who knew her believed that there was a very good chance she would reach that goal," he added. "There were definitely some tears today."
Compton's ex-boyfriend, Leo Deandre Scott, shot and killed himself last week inside a Columbus, Ga., apartment, ending a three-hour standoff with local and federal authorities who waited to charge him with her murder.
Port Royal police said Scott had driven to Port Royal from Columbus with a bouquet of roses, hoping to reunite with Compton. Instead they got into an argument, ending with Scott shooting Compton in the head, authorities say.
Investigators said Scott took her car and their 3-year-old son and drove back to Columbus. The child was later found unharmed at a relative's home.
Simmer said Compton's colleagues still are coming to terms with the tragedy.
"We have offered up support and counseling for those that need it," Simmer said. "Overall, people are bearing up pretty well. Sometimes there's a little too much focus on the tragic events and what happened, so we want to focus on (Compton's) life and the impact she had on others."
Follow reporter Patrick Donohue at twitter.com/OnBaseBeaufort.