In a statement released through a family spokesperson, Bethany May wrote that her slain mother "radiated goodness."
"Brenda Watson was more than just my mother; she was my best friend," she wrote. "Her faith in God was stronger than the fears with which we were living. She had such a gentle spirit, and gracious heart."
May also praised the nursing staff and students at Southern Union for coming to her aid.
"Once the shooting started, the nursing staff and students from Southern Union began to pour out of the building to help," she wrote. "The overwhelming efforts of those willing to immediately take care of us in the van are deeply appreciated."
May also thanked the doctors and nurses at East Alabama Medical Center, and said that God has helped her through the loss.
"Even in the midst of such deep loss, the hand of God has been upon my family, keeping us protected and constantly showing us His love," she wrote.
Thomas Franklin May III is accused of shooting his wife, Bethany Lynn May, 36, of Opelika; killing her mother, Brenda Watson, 62, who was living in Opelika and Macon; and wounding her grandmother, Maude Ethell Marshall, 93, of Opelika.
The defendant's lawyer did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment Tuesday.
He is charged with one count of capital murder, three counts of attempted murder and one count of shooting into an occupied, authorities said.