Reward Offered in 2013 Fatal Shooting of Young Woman in Oakland

Donitra Henderson was gunned down in front of her son, authorities said.

Oakland police asked for the community's help Thursday in finding the killers of a 21-year-old woman who was fatally shot in North Oakland two years ago as her 4-year-old son watched from the back seat of her car.

Donitra Henderson was visiting friends when she was shot as she was getting out of her car near the corner of 54th Street and Shattuck Avenue at about 8:45 p.m. on April 24, 2013, Lt. Roland Holmgren said.

"She was met by an armed gunman who shot her in front of her son," Holmgren said.

Henderson was pronounced dead at the scene.

"It kills me to read the boy's statement that a bad man killed his mom in front of his face," Holmgren said.

Police are hoping that someone will come forward to provide details, however small, that might help them solve the case, he said.

"It doesn't have to be the smoking gun," Holmgren said.

Oakland police and Crime Stoppers are offering a reward of up to $20,000 for information that leads to an arrest and conviction in the case, police spokeswoman Johnna Watson said.

Holmgren said investigators believe the shooting was "not random" and "may have been relationship-based" but didn't provide further details.

Joining police at a news conference at police headquarters, Henderson's mother, Anitra Bishop, said, "I'm asking for the public's help to bring my daughter's murderer to justice." Bishop said Henderson "was a good person who wasn't into any kind of trouble so that makes this all the more tragic because she didn't deserve to die."

Bishop said her daughter graduated from Oakland Technical High School, attended Laney College in Oakland and loved working with children. "I'm devastated," Bishop said.

Henderson's son is now being raised by his father, Bishop said. Bishop was joined by her 7-year-old son, Marques Hayes, who is Henderson's younger brother.

Bishop said Marques was close to Henderson and is still coming to terms with what happened to her.

"He's a little confused about the situation," she said.

Holmgren said Oakland police are working with the FBI to try to solve Henderson's case and other unsolved murders.

"The department is looking at increasing our clearance rate," he said.

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