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Family, friends gather to mourn Ebony Sheppard

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Friends and family packed the pews Saturday afternoon to say goodbye to a mother randomly shot and killed right after Christmas.

“Right now, we need an understanding. Right now, we need a shoulder to cry on,” said the pastor, comforting the crowd mourning the loss of Ebony Sheppard.

Police say Sheppard was murdered in the parking lot of her apartment complex during a robbery spree. Her funeral was held Saturday afternoon at the Grant A.M.E. Church in northeast Austin.

KXAN spoke with her mother after the service, who had quite a bit to say about Xavier Lewis — the man charged with killing her daughter.

“If he’s going to sit in prison, I want him to rot there,” said Janet Harris, Sheppard’s mother. “I know that’s harsh, but it was harsher for my daughter when he snuffed out her life.”

And while her life was taken too soon — she said she knows she’s is in a much better place now.

“Ebony may not be here with us, but her soul has gone to heaven,” said Andrea Brown, her aunt. “And the fellow that committed this crime, he didn’t know he was giving her the greatest gift of life. However, we weren’t ready.”

Her family plans to help other families seek justice for others’ lives taken by gun violence.

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