A woman stabbed Sunday inside a building local support groups use was a steadfast and straight-talking fixture at the meetings held there, an acquaintance said Friday.

Donna Brown, 79, died at about 4:30 p.m. Thursday, four days after she was stabbed inside a building near the intersection of 33rd Street and Avenue P in Galveston, police said.

No arrests had been made in connection to Brown’s death, and police Friday implored the public to help identify who attacked her.

“Investigators are fervently pursuing possible leads at this time but are still asking the public for any assistance they may be able to provide,” Galveston Police Department spokesman Capt. Joshua Schirard said.

The building where Brown was killed has long been a meeting place for support groups, said Dawn Aranza, who also has attended meetings.

Brown was a fixture at a 4 p.m. Sunday women’s-only Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, Aranza said

“She was the kind of person that could make you feel that you wouldn’t be judged,” Aranza said.

Brown was apparently alone in the building before she was attacked, police said. It’s normal for longtime members to arrive at the meeting house early to turn on the coffeemaker and set up chairs for a meeting, Aranza said.

Aranza was at a loss about what might have motivated the attacker, she said.

“There’s never any money kept in the building,” she said.

She didn’t recall there ever being problems inside the building, although occasionally people attended the group meetings on false pretenses — seeking shelter or free food — and had to he shooed away, she said.

“I knew that any time I was in that building I was safe,” Aranza said.

Police asked anyone with information about the stabbing to call the department at 409-765-3702, or Galveston Crime Stoppers at 409-763-8477.

Brown’s death is the second stabbing death in Galveston this year. On May 30, Joey Wetmore was found dead in the 1000 block of 51st Street. He was stabbed, police said.

No one has been arrested in connection to Wetmore’s death.

John Wayne Ferguson: 409-683-5226; or on Twitter @johnwferguson.


Senior Reporter

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