OAKLAND, Calif. (Henry Lee/KTVU) - An East Bay family is grieving over the death of a father and community activist just days before Christmas. They are grappling over how to tell a 7-year-old girl that her dad isn't coming home ever again.
"I'm shocked. I'm hurt. I'm mad. I'm angry. I'm hurt. This is my daughter's dad. This is the person I shared my life with," Christine Miller of Richmond said through tears.
Miller says her 7-year-old daughter Priscilla knows that something is wrong.
"She asked for her dad," Miller said. "She asked for her dad yesterday. She asked for her dad the day before that. And right now I'm just, you know, like...I'm like so numb right now."
A 7yo girl opened Christmas gifts from her father two days after he was shot & killed in Oakland. Now, her family is bracing to tell her that her daddy isn't coming back. 5,625,710p @KTVU pic.twitter.com/VWGzFAZkg3— Henry K. Lee (@henrykleeKTVU) December 29, 2017
Priscilla's father, 30-year-old Dominique Johnson was shot and killed in West Oakland two days before Christmas. When it was time to open presents, her family held in their grief as the girl opened presents from her dad, a science kit and a doll, gifts she's asked for the whole year..
"She was so happy on Christmas, and unfortunately for us, we were crying, like, I was bawling my eyes out the whole night before," Miller said. "I could not sleep. We couldn't sleep. We couldn't do anything. We had to like, put on a mask."
Miller says she didn't want Priscilla to associate Christmas with the passing of her father. But she says her daughter needs to know what happened. She's not sure how to do it, though.
"How do you tell your child that?" Miller asked. "How do you tell her that? And she's asking you, and i don't know what to say."
On Saturday night, Johnson was found shot to death on Brush Street near West Grand Avenue in West Oakland. The killing happened moments after Johnson left Qilombo, a community social-justice center around the corner, where he was a volunteer.
A memorial sits near the spot where he was killed.
Johnson, who everyone called "Dom," stood up for what he believed was right. He spoke up on behalf of the homeless, inmates and people of color. He walked the streets during the Occupy Oakland movement to protest injustice.
"He had a good heart," said Trevor Johnson, the victim's brother.
"It's a whole lot of people that's hurting from this. My brother was well known. It's not just in Oakland, he's well known in the Bay Area."
Family members said they believe whoever took their loved one's life could very well possibly the kind of person he had wanted to help.
"My brother didn't deserve this you know? He really didn't deserve this at all."
There are resources in Oakland for grief counseling and bereavement
Crisis Support Services of Alameda Co. (grief counseling)
Kaiser Permanente (East Bay) - grief support group