Community members have launched at least two fundraisers in the wake of the murder of 19-year-old Sereinat’e Henderson in South Berkeley earlier this week.
Some of the money that is raised will help with funeral costs, the organizers wrote, while some will go toward a fund for Henderson’s baby boy, who was in the car with her at the time of the fatal shooting.
“Our community is grieving the loss of Sereinat’e, a beautiful young mother. We had the privilege of getting to know her and her family when she was pregnant with her 10 month old son, Jah’hadi,” the fundraiser organizers wrote. “Sereinat’e was a vibrant young woman who made us laugh and think. She was killed on October 21 in Berkeley. The lives of her family are forever changed. Please contribute to help with funeral expenses and seed a fund for Jah’hadi’s future. Thank you for holding them your hearts.”
As of publication time, people had donated more than $4,400 to that fundraiser. Organizers hope to raise $20,000 in the “Arms around Jah’hadi and his family” campaign. The South Berkeley group Friends of Adeline identified the organizers as midwifery staff at LifeLong Medical Care.
Jocelyn Foreman, who works at Malcom X Elementary School, created the other fundraiser for Sereinat’e Henderson.
“Sereinate was loved by family, close friends and school communities that wrapped her in love daily. She was a spicy, headstrong, fun loving, and nurturing young woman especially in her new role as mommy,” Foreman wrote. “She loved her son. Sereinate was a branch in a tree of family members deeply rooted in the soil of Berkeley. We are asking this community to wrap this family in love and humility.”
Foreman wrote that Henderson had been a student at Malcolm X, as were many of her siblings and cousins. She then went to Longfellow and Berkeley High.
Foreman said Henderson’s family has been hit particularly hard this year amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic: “This is the 5th family member lost during Covid for this family,” she wrote. She said any money raised will go directly to the family.
Police hope reward will help solve murder
Police have also announced a $50,000 reward to help solve Henderson’s murder. No arrests have been made.
Police said they found Henderson unresponsive in a vehicle on Prince Street near Ellis Street after getting multiple reports of gunfire there just before 7 p.m. Wednesday. Someone in another vehicle had fired an estimated 17 bullets at them over a period of about 20 seconds.
Henderson, who was pregnant, was taken to the hospital but did not survive.
“There may be individuals who have information about this crime and we are asking for the public’s help,” police said in a statement Friday. “Even the smallest detail could be critical in solving this crime.”
Police said Henderson lived in Oakland at the time of her death. But her family has deep roots in Berkeley going back decades.
The Berkeley Police Department asks anyone with information about the case to call the BPD Homicide Unit at 510-981-5741 or BPD’s 24-hour non-emergency number at 510-981-5900.