PORTLAND -- The foster parents of the 14-year-old boy hit by gunfire outside the Lloyd Center Mall Monday said he was their baby and they have been overwhelmed with grief since he was shot and died two days later.
"It's heart-wrenching. I never thought I’d feel my heart hurt like it has in the last few days,” said Peggy Washington.
Peggy and her husband, Roy have raised Shiloh Hampton for the past two years and said they loved him like a biological son.
"It was very hard. I never cried so much in my life," Roy said. "Who ever pulled the trigger, my heart really hurts."
Police have said that they believe the shooting was gang-related but Hampton may have been an innocent bystander. The Washingtons said they're sure Shiloh was not in a gang and something must be done to stop this violence among teens in Portland.
"I don't want any other mother to feel what I'm feeling," Peggy said. "Justice, that's my prayer to God."
"I just want justice," said Roy Washington. "I don't want revenge."
Friends held a candlelight vigil Wednesday night, just hours after Hampton died from his injuries.
"It'll never be the same," said friend Antoinette Preston. "There's no way to measure it."
The vigil was held outside Madison High School, where Shiloh had been a freshman.
"I think you could say that he was a typical high school student and he was very well-liked," Joseph Malone, the interim principal at Madison High School, said.
"All of a sudden you could feel everyone getting depressed and just quiet," classmate Chris Briggs said Wednesday.
Counselors were also at Hampton's school, to help students and staff deal with the tragedy.
"Some of the students are having a hard time and want to come down and talk about it. Some don't want to talk about it, then you find them in the hallway in a secluded area dealing with it emotionally," Malone said.
Background: Boy shot outside Lloyd Center Mall
Hampton was shot while standing in Holladay Park outside the Lloyd Center Mall, around 5 p.m., Monday. He was rushed to Legacy Emanuel Hospital with gunshot wounds to his head and stomach.
Police said they think the shooters may have escaped in a white Mercedes. Anyone with information in the case was asked to call police.
After learning of Hampton's death, Portland Mayor Sam Adams said Wednesday that he had visited the hospital on the night of the shooting and met the boy's family.
"Any death from gun violence is unacceptable. It's even more tragic for our community when the victim is a 14-year-old," Adams said. "Shiloh Hampton was loved by his family and friends, and my thoughts and prayers are with them at this time."
KGW Reporters Kyle Iboshi, Pat Dooris, and Mike Benner contributed to this report