An aspiring EMT who spent her life helping others had just left a Portland, Oregon restaurant with a friend when she was gunned down in her car.
Danae K. Williams, 25, died two days later at the hospital. Her companion, who was also struck by the gunfire, was hospitalized with “critical injuries” but is expected to survive, according to a statement from the Portland Police Bureau.
Police said both were shot Wednesday around 8:55 p.m. in the 6800 block of Northeast Martin Luther King Junior Boulevard.
Williams’ great aunt, Laura Wiegman, told local station KGW that Williams had been sitting in the driver’s seat when she was struck by a bullet from someone in another vehicle in what she referred to as a “random act of violence.” The bullet reportedly came in through the passenger side window.
“She was downtown at a restaurant having dinner with a friend and they came out of the restaurant and got into the car,” she said.
Williams’ mother, Adele Atwood, told KPTV that Williams had been heading to her grandmother’s house—who lived just a few minutes away—and was turning left at a red light when the gunfire broke out.
“Her grandmother is her best friend,” Atwood said.
She described her daughter as a music lover who had grown up in Portland and loved the community she had always called home.
“She’s a big jokester,” Atwood said. “So, she has a really big laugh and smile everybody knows because it's Danae.”
Williams had gone to community college to become an EMT and was working as a caregiver for the elderly and disabled when she died, her mom said.
The family is now hoping police find her killer.
“We just want some answers. We want to know why this would happen to her,” Atwood said. “She does deserve some justice. She has lost her young life. She was just beginning to live.”
Police have provided few details about the slaying and declined to comment on the case when contacted by Oxygen.com; however, authorities are asking that anyone who may have information about the crime to contact Detective Brad Clifton at Brad.Clifton@portlandoregon.gov or 503-823-0696 or Detective Michael Greenlee at Michael.Greenlee@portlandoregon.gov or 503-823-0871.
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