OAKLAND, Calif. - Candles and balloons were placed at Oakland's Lake Merritt less than one week after a young woman was shot and killed during a night out with friends.
Police said the victim, who was shot last Thursday near Lake Merritt, died two days later.
Michelle Aleman's family and friends are demanding justice. They want her remembered as a devoted and loving mother to her young daughter.
They said they're concerned that homicide will be unsolved because Oakland is dealing with so much violent crime.
"There're lights here. I felt safe. There are people walking here no matter what time it is," said Aleman's friend Jesus Vega.
But it wasn't safe for Aleman.
The 22-year-old was shot along the 1400 block of Lakeshore Avenue last Thursday and died two days later.
Family and friends said she enjoyed coming to Lake Merritt, drawn by the lights at nightfall.
But on this night, the lights are joined by candles lit at a memorial for her.
"She didn't deserve any of this. She was a really caring person," said Vega.
Police said Aleman was shot Thursday around 12:30 a.m. and later died at the hospital.
They said they're investigating the circumstances surrounding the deadly shooting. A source tells KTVU it may have happened during a robbery.
Her loved ones said they're suspicious of the three people she was out with, that all of them abandoned her at the scene and did not call her family.
"They didn't come notify her family. They knew she had a daughter, Everybody, all her friends knew she had a daughter," said Santos Avalos, Aleman's boyfriend and father of their daughter.
Avalos said he and his girlfriend just celebrated their daughter's 5th birthday last month and that Aleman had recently started a job working for an online grocery delivery service.
When she didn't come home that night, Avalos said he went searching for her at area hospitals and he didn't learn until 16 hours later she had been shot.
"She was doing everything for her daughter. I just hope she gets justice," said Avalos.
He shared with KTVU a last photo he took as he held his girlfriend's hand in the hospital.
He's now wearing one of the rings she wore that night.
"We were hoping there were signs of her coming back to us but the impact was too much," Avalos said she was shot once in the head.
All their dreams of getting married and having a second child are now gone.
Avalos is urging detectives to find the whoever's responsible for killing his girlfriend,
"Don't let this homicide just be another cold case. They need to push forward."
He said Aleman had a special ability to counsel friends who went through difficult times.
Avalos said he'll tell their daughter her mother was a strong woman who loved her.
Aleman's family said she was an organ donor.
In death, she saved five lives.