An East Austin community is remembering a mother who was taken from her 4-year-old son too soon.

Saturday night, Ebony Sheppard's family and friends hosted a vigil for their loved one who was fatally shot the day after Christmas. The day before the vigil, authorities arrested 19-year-old Xavier Lewis for her murder, calling it a random act of violence.


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"Reducing incidents of gun violence arising from criminal misconduct is important. It is our hope that Ebony's death and the death of other victims of gun violence continue to sound the alarm that more strategies, policies and education must be developed to prevent gun violence and gun-related deaths. We believe these incidents are preventable," said the Sheppard's family statement in regard to the vigil.

Right now, Lewis is in the Travis County Jail on bonds totaling nearly $2 million. Sheppard's family said they're still coming to grips with the loss, saying they especially feel for Sheppard's son, Ian.

"He told me, 'Mom is okay, she's in my heart,'" said Sheppard's mother, Janet Harris. "I left it at that because I know he knows something."

Ebony dreamed for her son to go to college, so her family has started a GoFundMe page to help pay for his future expenses. Go here to donate.