AUSTIN (KXAN) — A memorial is growing in a Portland, Oregon park for an Austin woman. On Tuesday, Portland police identified 26-year-old Erika Evans as the victim of a fatal shooting at the park on Friday night.
“It was just — it’s shocking. It still is. I mean … it was what, three, four days ago, and it’s still … difficult, heartbreaking,” said Daniel Fernandez, Evans’ former bandmate and friend.
Fernandez is visiting family in Spain and received the news from another friend and former bandmate.
“It was specifically one of my best friends who Erika introduced to me. So, I have [her] to thank for [that],” Fernandez said, who started the band The Halfways that Evans joined for about two years.
He shared pictures with KXAN of Evans showing exactly how he’d like to remember her.
“Sunny, smiling, and into her music and art,” Fernandez explained. He remembers her as an artist in many ways, not just in music.
For example, Fernandez recalled running into Evans on South Congress, drawing temporary henna tattoos on people.
“A few months after that, I walked down the same street, and she was typing away on a typewriter, just kind of improvising poetry. She was always trying new things, you know, kind of like exploring her artistry,” Fernandez said.
Portland police are investigating Evans’ death as a homicide. You can hear the fatal shot in one neighbor’s security camera footage.
While people contribute to the growing pile of flowers and candles for Evans in the Portland park, Fernandez is cherishing the two years he got to work with his sunny band mate.
“I’m just grateful that Erika spent any of her precious life dedicating it to… my project at the time,” he said.
Portland police have not announced any arrests in this case.
KXAN is waiting to hear more about if Evans’ shooting was an isolated incident, if someone opened fire on her at random or if the young artist was targeted.
“This is incredibly difficult to talk about, but I just hope that however this happened, it’s brought to justice,” Fernandez said. “And I just … wish for peace for her family and for Erika, herself.”