Friend of murdered mother: 'I just pray that justice is served'

Friend of murdered mother: 'I just pray that justice is served' »Play Video
Ervaeua Ronchelle Herring.

PORTLAND, Ore. -- The 21-year-old mother who was pregnant with her second child was shot twice in the head while sleeping in her apartment Sunday, according to the Multnomah County Medical Examiner's office on Tuesday.

Portland police found Ervaeua Ronchelle Herring dead Sunday at around 5 a.m. at the Eastwood Village Apartments on Southeast Powell Boulevard.

Herring had a 1-year-old son. He wasn't home at the time of the shooting.

Neighbors said they witnessed several men sneaking around the back of the building who started shooting through the walls. Herring was struck twice. Police believe the shooting was gang-related and suspect the intended target was Herring's boyfriend.

"It's so fresh. A mother lost a daughter, a father lost a daughter ... they lost a sister, a cousin -- so right now, as expected, nobody is doing well with these circumstances," said Sam Thompson, a close friend of the Herring family. But he added, "They're being as strong as possible."

The victim's family did not want to speak with media Tuesday but Thompson - who's been in constant contact with the family - provided touching new details about Herring's life to the On Your Side Investigators.

"Ervaeua was an amazing young lady, full of energy, enjoyed being around her friends, loved to have fun. She was a very outgoing young lady," Thompson said.

He said Ervaeua went to Woodlawn Elementary School, H.B. Lee Middle School as well as Reynolds High School and Park Rose High School. He said Ervaeua's favorite color was purple, that she loved to eat and loved fashion. He said Ervaeua used to model for Abercrombie and Fitch.

Most of all, Thompson said, Ervaeua was a proud mother.

"The one thing that stood out more than anything else was how great of a mother she was," Thompson said. "She really took pride in raising her son, and her son was her world and everything she did. She made sure that that baby didn't want for anything."

Thompson said the 21-year-old had recently enrolled at Mt. Hood Community College to "get her education going" so she could provide a better life for her son.

"Not only does something like this seem so barbaric and so unbelievable - that we have youth that don't value the life of one another and a lot of times getting to a de-sensitized, dehumanized place - that another life that was going to get an opportunity to grow and blossom never is going to get an opportunity to be here," Thompson said. "That to me is the most - that to me is very troubling."

Thompson said the little boy is now in the care of his grandparents.

With the killers still at large, Thompson prays for justice.

"I just pray that justice is served. I pray that losing her life is not in vain. I pray that this does bring our community closer together," Thompson said. "(I pray) that Ervaeua's life and her glow and her ability to be a great friend and all of the vibrancy that she brought into life, that it will live on."

Family and friends hosted a community forum and fundraiser Tuesday night at the Billy Webb Elks Lodge in North Portland to mourn Herring and raise money for her family.

On Tuesday, the family also created the Ervaeua Herring Memorial Fund and asked that donations be made at US Bank at the account number 153666897068.

Crime Stoppers is offering a cash reward of up to $1,000 for information that leads to an arrest in the case.

Leave a Crime Stoppers tip online at http://crimestoppersoforegon.com/submit_online_tip.php,  text CRIMES (274637) and in the subject line put 823HELP,  followed by the tip, or call 503-823-HELP (4357) and leave the tip information. Tips can be left in English or Spanish.

Portland Police are also encouraging anyone who has information to contact the Police Non-Emergency Line at (503) 823-3333. Tips on gun crimes can also be emailed to GunTaskForce@portlandoregon.gov.