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Family grieves the loss of 25-year-old Portland homicide victim as shooting cases spike

Danae Williams was just 25-years-old and wanted to become an EMT. But her life ended, two days after being shot on a Portland street.

PORTLAND, Ore. — A prolonged spike of deadly shootings has left loved ones of victims stunned by sadness and reeling with grief. That includes the family of a 25-year-old woman who was shot in Portland on Wednesday and died on Friday.

“It's still surreal you know, and I feel for her mom,” said Laura Wiegman.

Wiegman is the great aunt of homicide victim Danae Williams. Wiegman said Williams worked with people with disabilities and aspired to become an EMT.

There's a memorial now on the sidewalk corner, near where Williams was shot Wednesday night on NE Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard at Dekum Street.

“She was downtown at a restaurant having dinner with a friend and they came out of the restaurant and got into the car,” said Wiegman.

Although police have not released details, Wiegman says Williams was in the driver’s seat, when she was hit by a bullet that appears to have come in through a passenger side window.  She also says the shot was fired from another vehicle.

Why? Wiegman has no idea.

“Danae is not in any way, was never in any way involved in the gangs,” said the great aunt.

The young Portlander was the city's 31st homicide victim this year. That's compared to four homicides at the same time last year. All the shootings have patrol officers scrambling and homicide detectives overloaded, at a time when Portland police face the potential of more budget cuts.

“She's the middle daughter so she leaves behind an older sister and a younger sister,” said Wiegman. “It's hard for both of them, losing their little sister, their big sister. But you gotta deal with it.”

A male victim who was with Williams suffered critical injuries but is expected to survive. His name has not yet been released.

“The frustration is you think this can't happen to my family and here it does, you know just a random act of violence," said Wiegman.

Detectives on this case believe several witnesses may have left the scene without talking to officers. They hope to hear from those witnesses as soon as possible. If you have any information call Portland police. Specifically, you can contact Detective Brad Clifton at Brad.Clifton@portlandoregon.gov 503-823-0696 or Detective Michael Greenlee at Michael.Greenlee@portlandoregon.gov 503-823-0871.