More than 200 family, friends, and community members gathered on Tuesday at McNary-Williams-Jackson Mortuary to pay their respects to 8-year-old Alaysha “Ladybug” Carradine.
Alaysha was at a sleepover at a friend’s house in the Dimond district on July 17 when she was fatally shot. Police said someone rang the doorbell and started shooting, wounding three and killing the 8-year-old girl.
Family members filed into the chapel Tuesday wearing pink and white dresses and tuxedos, matching the pink casket of the young girl. Pink balloons with Alaysha’s favorite cartoon character, Hello Kitty, adorned the casket.
Pastor Maurice Jordan of Abundant Christian Center officiated the service reminding the attendees that the day was designed to celebrate the life of young Alaysha.
At the service, Carolyn Mims, the former office manager at Stegs Elementary School in Richmond spoke on how Alaysha would come into the office and help out.
“She was very helpful and always concerned about others,” Mims said, remembering having to tell Alaysha to go outside for recess rather than sit in the office with her.
Erin Burgess, 8, of Fruitvale Elementary, couldn’t hold back tears while reading a note about the girl she called her “BFF,” or best friend forever. She talked about things they planned to do when they turned 10 and how sad it was that she could no longer look forward to those days. Overcome by emotion, she started sobbing and was unable to finish reading her letter.
Erin passed around a necklace with two pictures of Alaysha as a token of her love.
Family members also spoke of Alaysha’s positive spirit and her love of music and dance. Many people said she had an “old spirit.”
Among the mourners were Mayor Jean Quan, Oakland Fire Chief Teresa Reed, and Councilwoman Libby Schaff. Sandra Andrews, a representative for Congresswoman Barbara Lee, also attended the service and read a letter from Lee.
“We are here, not just today or tomorrow but anytime you can call on us,” Andrews read. “We’re going to continue to work towards peace, our thoughts and prayers are with you.”
No arrests have been made and an investigation is still ongoing, police said.