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Guests console each other as the leave funeral services for Alaysha Carradine ,8, at the McNary-Williams-Jackson Mortuary on Tuesday, July 30, 2013 in Oakland, Calif. Carradine was shot and killed during a sleepover at a friends house in the 3400 block of Wilson Avenue earlier this month in Oakland. (Aric Crabb/Bay Area News Group)

OAKLAND -- Laid in a pink casket adorned with flowers and Hello Kitty balloons, slain 8-year-old Alaysha Carradine inspired a mournful outpouring of love at her funeral Tuesday.

A great-grandmother recalled her chattering vibrancy. A best friend, 8-year-old Erin Burgess, remembered their dreamy predictions about how much more exciting life would be when they both turned 10.

About 200 people crowded an Oakland mortuary to memorialize the loquacious girl who was gunned down at a friend's July 17 sleepover.

"You will never be forgotten," the girl's mother, Chiquita Carradine, said in a tearful eulogy Tuesday, as family members helped brace her. "You are my angel, my guardian angel. I pray to you now."

Alaysha Carradine
Alaysha Carradine (Family photo)

Even in a city already wracked by 56 homicides this year, Alaysha Carradine's horrific death has hit a deep nerve. She was spending the night at a friend's house when a gunman fired into the Dimond district apartment, fatally shooting the girl and injuring two other children and a grandmother.

Dozens of donors raised more than $5,700 for the funeral in an online campaign.

"I remember the days in Oakland when it was off limits to shoot a child," said the Rev. Maurice Jordan, speaking at the funeral.

The pastor at Berkeley's Abundant Life Christian Center Fellowship called on police and community members to seek justice for the girl.

"If they can get together to rally for Trayvon (Martin)," the Florida teen whose slaying sparked protests in Oakland and throughout the country, "they can rally for this baby," Jordan said. "So that her death is not in vain."

Mayor Jean Quan and the city's police and fire chiefs were among those attending the Tuesday funeral in the chapel of the McNary-Williams-Jackson Mortuary on Telegraph Avenue. Police continue investigating the homicide but have not publicly identified any suspects.

Family members and close friends grieved over what all described as a senseless death. They also celebrated the short but spirited life of a girl known for her singing, dancing and the sweet and caring demeanor she shared with friends, teachers and her little brother, Travion Pamon.

Born on June 28, 2005, in Monroe, La., to parents Chiquita Carradine and Marvin Eleam, Alaysha Carradine moved with her family to the Bay Area shortly before entering the first grade at Stege Elementary School in Richmond.

Her mother has said they moved to Oakland's Dimond district several years ago after a months-long search for a safe place to live. Alaysha would have entered the third grade this fall at Fruitvale Elementary School.

"Ladybug, she was here before her time," said family friend Ericka Vaughn, referring to the girl by her favorite nickname. "She had a lot to share, a lot to say."