PORTLAND, Ore. — Police are investigating the shooting death of an 18-year-old woman as a gang-related homicide.
PORTLAND, Ore. — Police are investigating the shooting death of an 18-year-old woman as a gang-related homicide. Borisshell Washington, who was to graduate from Jefferson High School this weekend, was shot in the head Sunday night while attending a barbecue with friends at a Portland park, police said. Witnesses saw at least two cars speed away on an unpaved road as Washington lay in the dust. "I don’t understand what these gangs are trying to prove," Washington’s sister, 20-year-old Raynisha Mayes, told The Oregonian newspaper Monday. "It’s stupid, people shooting over a color, or a name, because they’re hurting innocent people that get caught in all of this. I don’t think people understand the impact of their actions." Portland police were called to the park just before 7:30 p.m. after neighbors reported a large, noisy gathering. Two officers went out and cleared the call a short time later. A couple of hours later, nearby resident Sarah Mayer said she heard gunshots and saw a crowd of about 40 young people running and screaming. Washington, apparently an unintended target, died at the scene. "It was absolutely horrible," Mayer said. Margaret Calvert, an administrator for Jefferson’s art, science and technology academy, said school administrators will meet with the senior class to discuss how to remember Washington during graduation. "She was a student who grew into herself over time. She had pursued her senior year with great vigor," Calvert said. "Graduation causes this moment of pause in people’s lives where they look backward and forward at the same time. I think she could see the growth and was celebrating that, and also was really excited about the things to come." Washington, who worked at Taco Bell for the past two years, had lined up modeling work with a local hair salon, and was enrolled to start next month at Phagans’ School of Hair Design in Portland. Her high school counselor, Brian Quinn, said he met with Washington on Friday, and they discussed ways to raise money to pay for school. "I’ve just got these images of her going through my mind all day," Quinn said. "She’s always got a smile on her face." ______ Copyright 2009 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.