Mother of homicide victim speaks out

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- It's been just more than two weeks since four people were murdered in the Chippewa Valley.

Calvin's mom talks about her son

Monday, 24-year-old Laile Vang was laid to rest at Forest Hill Cemetery in Chippewa Falls. A memorial service was also held Monday for the youngest victim, Calvin Harris.

Last month, Calvin was shot and killed in a home in the town of Lafayette along with his father, Douglas German and his grandmother Bridget German.

Investigators say Ritchie German Junior shot them all and later went to a home in Lake Hallie. There, he shot and killed 24-year-old Laile Vang and wounded her parents before taking his own life.

Due to a strained relationship with Calvin’s father, Portia German, who lives in California, says she hasn't seen her son in three years. At his memorial service at Christ Lutheran Church and School in Chippewa falls today, she heard the impact her young son had on the lives of those who knew him.

"Everything Calvin did, he did it with just, so much emotion. He put everything he had into being the person he was. My mom always told me 'Calvin is going to change the world,’” she said. “Hearing the stories that people tell me about him, Calvin changed the world. In his eight short years he, he definitely changed the world."

Calvin Harris was only eight years old, but his mother says he brightened the lives of those around him.

"One of the parents told me that her son asked her to buy him a flannel shirt, not flannel, plaid, because Calvin wore a lot of plaid shirts."

Portia said she was heartbroken when she learned it was someone close to Calvin who took his life.

She says she never met Ritchie German Junior and says even though he's dead, she doesn't feel justice was served.

"It actually infuriates me if we're being honest. I am angry with him for taking his own life because I feel like he took the easy way out,” she said. “He didn't just hurt me, he hurt this community, he hurt the friends Calvin made at school, he hurt his best friend, he hurt my mom and dad and there's no one to blame."

Portia was at work when she found out about Calvin’s death. She says it doesn’t feel real.

"My sister sent me a text and I think my heart dropped. She said 'Calvin and Doug are dead.' and I don't even remember telling my bosses I was leaving," said Portia.

Portia says she always hoped Calvin would eventually find her once he was older.

"That was my first thought, ‘Calvin’s not coming back to find you.’ It felt like a weight had been dropped."

She says Calvin always had a big brother mentality, especially after meeting his young sister in California.

"At that time I had another kid and I think she was around 2 and he loved her. Obviously there was a little sibling rivalry. He would sit at the table and make sure she would eat. Even hearing other people tell me stories about him; it sounds like he always took on that role."

Portia says she'll continue to remember her son for the positive person he was.

"I have to stop and remember the best way to honor Calvin isn't with all these material items like pictures and stuff, I have to love life the way Calvin loved life. He's small, but very powerful."

Portia says Calvin will be buried in California in her family's plot.
She set up a GoFundMe page to help pay for funeral costs and travel expenses.

To donate, click here.