OAKLAND -- An Oakland mother is thankful her children are alive after her apartment was sprayed with gunfire Wednesday night, but is grieving for the loss of her daughter's best friend, whom she considered a member of the family.

Speaking for the first time since the shooting, Brea Colbert said she was at work when she received the call that someone had fired bullets into her apartment's front security screen door about 11:18 p.m. Wednesday. The barrage of bullets pierced the apartment's metal gate that night and struck four of the five people inside.

Eight-year-old Alaysha Carradine was killed. Her 7-year-old best friend, Amara York, was injured, as was Amara's 4-year-old brother, Antoine York, and her grandmother, Clara Field.

"I'm truly, truly hurt about Alaysha," Colbert said. "It bothers me to this day, because I loved that girl like she was my own."

Amara and Alaysha, whose family called her "Ladybug," would always play together, Colbert said. When her daughter had a modeling show, Alaysha was always invited to go. She said the apartment was like Alaysha's second home.

When Amara, who was shot in the shoulder, woke up in the hospital, she kept asking for Alaysha, her aunt Raquel Suarez said. When Amara found out Alaysha died Friday, the children released balloons to send to Alaysha in heaven, Suarez said.

The aunt said that Amara was trying to take care of the injured in the chaos following the shooting.


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"They're in a lot of pain, both physically and mentally," she said about the children. Amara's brother was grazed by a bullet on his stomach.

The family has no plans to return to the home in the 3400 block of Wilson Avenue, which runs between Montana Street and MacArthur Boulevard in the lower Dimond District, just north of Interstate 580.

"She's (scared) right now, because they don't have the person who did this," Suarez said of the children's mother. "She's just scared and she keeps breaking down because she's feeling like, 'This baby was in my home, I was supposed to be protecting this baby.'"

Outside the family's front door on Saturday, neighbors and community members had lit candles, dropped off teddy bears and left cards for the family and Alaysha. All Amara can say about what happened is "Ladybug, I miss her," Colbert said.

No arrests have been announced and there is no known motive for the attack.

Alaysha is the youngest person to be killed in the city this year and was one of seven children fatally shot in Oakland. The other six were all age 17. Her death marked Oakland's 54th homicide of the year.

There is a $25,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of subjects. Anyone with information should contact Oakland police at 510-238-3821 or the anonymous tip line at 510-773-2508.

"These are just kids, they're so innocent," Colbert said. "This is a tragedy and I just feel so bad."