Hundreds hold vigil for Janessa Ramirez

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Hundreds held vigil for Janessa Ramirez, 9, killed in a gang shootout. Janessa's family is extremely grateful to see the community come together.

Investigators are still pressing forward with the case. Chief Jerry Dyer is still asking for witnesses or anyone with information to help them solve this murder case.

"It's amazing," said Jennifer Brown. "It's God's work in process. We know that Janessa is in heaven now." Brown says she's proud of the people who showed up at the vigil for Janessa. The young victim's mom, grandparents, and other relatives are calling for an end to violence on Fresno streets.

"They are in our prayers, and we're so sorry that this tragedy happened," Brown said.

The memorial site is rapidly growing in the days since Janessa's death. She was shot Sunday night in front of a West Central Fresno laundromat.

Investigators say the stray bullet that struck her came from a gang shootout three hundred yards away. Chief Dyer says he knows which gangs are responsible. At least 30 tips have come in to investigators, but they still need help locking down the case.

"We know that the community outcry for this case to be solved and solved quickly is great," Dyer said. "And that puts a lot of pressure on our investigators, but it is pressure that we need. The truth is, we too, are hurt by what occurred in our city."

Most of the people at this vigil are strangers to Janessa and her family. But the impact of the fourth grader with an old soul was clearly visible on their candle lit faces.

Janessa's teacher from Steinbeck Elementary shared her grief. "We know that we have to ban together to support her mom, and to bring the community together because what happened to Janessa and what keeps happening, it needs to stop," said Lisa Spina.

A viewing for Janessa is set for Friday at 5pm at Cornerstone Church in Downtown Fresno. Services will be held at 10am Saturday. Janessa will be laid to rest at St. Peter's in Fresno County. A celebration of life service will follow.

The public is invited to attend all services. The family is asking for assistance or donations with food or money to be dropped off at Kidz Can 2 daycare from 8-noon Friday. The collections will continue in the afternoon at Star Palace at 1420 Fulton Street, Fresno.

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