People who loved Tina Jackson — born on Valentine’s Day — said she spent her life sharing her heart with the world.
“She always opened her heart and her home to anybody,” her sister Maitai Jackson said.
Tina Jackson shared her heart with her six children, her students from her teaching assistant days in Southern California and the children in her neighborhood. She shared it with her friends and family through the parties and get-togethers she organized — her specialty.
She was hosting a family game night at her east valley townhouse the night of Dec. 27 because another relative couldn’t, Maitai Jackson said.
The family was playing spades when Juwanna Chapman-Doucett, her fiancé Clarence Wilson, and Wilson’s nephew arrived at the door. They were there to pick up Chapman-Doucett’s daughter, who was dating Tina Jackson’s son, and bring her back to California.
Wilson’s nephew fought with Tina Jackson’s son and Wilson joined the fight, according to Wilson’s arrest report.
Moments later, Las Vegas police said, Wilson stood outside and shot multiple times into the townhouse, striking Tina Jackson, her cousin Mark Cooley, her mother and Maitai Jackson’s fiancé. Tina Jackson, 42, and Cooley, 50, died inside the apartment.
Police arrested Chapman-Doucett and Wilson.
“I don’t think there was a mean bone in her body,” Maitai Jackson said of her late sister.
Tina Jackson’s mother and her sister’s fiancé were hospitalized in critical condition but are recovering. Cooley’s funeral was Friday, the family said.
Tina Jackson gave of herself and never expected a thing in return, family and friends said.
“A lot of people in this world is selfish,” her friend Kaisha Jones said. “Tina Jackson was selfless.”
Jones, 44, of Compton, California, said she met Tina Jackson in high school. Their friendship strengthened when they were both in Divas, a Los Angeles-based philanthropic group.
Tina Jackson’s primary concerns included the homeless, women and children. On Mother’s Day, she and Divas would bring toiletries to women and children in shelters, Jones said.
Tina Jackson’s daughter Ashlie Brown said her mother would plan parties in fine detail, down to the homemade decorations and centerpieces. Friend of the family Diamond White of North Las Vegas, 31, said Tina Jackson was the do-it-yourself queen. She once took a bunch of broken glass White had and turned it into a picture she could hang on the wall, White said.
“Everything on Pinterest, she could do herself,” White said.
Perhaps fittingly, Tina Jackson was preparing to open a catering business; friends and family said she was hoping to form a limited liability corporation.
The day she died, White said, Tina Jackson was given a gift of a laptop she could use to help run the business.
“Life to live”
Tina Jackson moved to Las Vegas about eight months ago from south central Los Angeles, her family and friends said.
The move to Sin City suited her, at least for her love of poker. Jackson had her own chips and a poker table she would bring outside while she lived in California, Jones said.
Tina Jackson, who was typically the dealer, loved the game, the trash talking and, of course, the people, Jones said.
Brown said her mother wanted to put together a poker-themed party next month for what would’ve been her 43rd birthday.
“She still had life to live,” Brown said.