An upstate New York community is rallying around three small children who lost their mother in a shooting over the weekend.
"I am at a loss for this tragic loss," Lashelle Roberson told WGRZ of her friend Rayshionna Johnson's death. "I never in a million years thought that this would happen. But I just hope and pray that our community will be able to come together at a time like this and show love to these young babies who are now motherless."
Roberson is watching Johnson's children, a set of two year-old twins and a one year-old baby girl, after Johnson was fatally shot at a street party.
Johnson and four others were shot at the party early Saturday morning, according to WKBW. Buffalo police are still searching for the suspect but have said the other victims were seriously injured, according to SpectrumNews.
"You took my daughter. You took her body, but her soul is right here," Katrina Gray, Johnson's mother, said.
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Roberson is a member of a local anti-violence group known as the Buffalo FATHERS, which is asking members of the community for donations to help the children.
The group is looking for new clothing items (due to COVID-19) for a twin boy and girl in size 2T, and for a-one-year-old child that wears 12-18 month clothing. Gift cards are also being accepted.
Roberson is planning on adopting the children.
"Rayshionna asked me to take her kids for her and to make sure they are OK and I promised her I would do so, and I plan on keeping my promise as long as I walk this earth," she said.
All donations can be made at the Johnnie B. Wiley Sports Complex at 1100 Jefferson Ave in Buffalo, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. Anyone with information on the shooting is urged to call the confidential tip-line at 716-847-2255.