A Poway High School 2017 graduate, Silver was pursuing a career in health care. According to her sister, Ali White, she “was an angel, sent here for good.”
"She worked in geriatric care and the patients she helped were so grateful for her compassion and willingness to just sit and talk with them,” White said. "Nina had such a big heart. She was the best sister, aunt, daughter, and friend. I know she'll be looking over my girls.”
White’s confidence in that stems from an incident back in 2017. Silver was babysitting White’s then-4-year-old daughter Nora when a fire started in the garage and burned through the house to the living room.
"My daughter was napping in there,” White said. "My sister smelled the smoke, ran to grab my daughter and took her to safety across the street. She saved my daughter's life that day, and I'll never be able to repay that debt to her."
White created a GoFundMe page to help pay for Silver’s funeral services. The campaign exceeded its $8,000 goal by over $1,500 in only 14 days.
"There is still good and beauty in the world, even though we lost our Nina's light,” White wrote. "Thank you all for donating, sharing, and spreading love. We have gone well over what we requested and we cannot be more thankful. Bless you all for your help and kindness."
One of the three surviving victims, 19-year-old Erick Buchanan was shot in his left jaw. According to his mother Toni Morris, he had only been at the party for 20 minutes before sustaining an injury that will force him to take a year off of his football career at Riverside City College.
“He fractured his upper and bottom jaw, so they had to put plates in,” Morris said. “They wired his mouth shut, and because he had excessive swelling, they had to put a trachea in.”
Buchanan is currently recovering at home. Though he’s only able to eat soft foods and liquids, his mother said he’s in good spirits, his pain is tolerable and he’s happy to be surrounded by friends and family. It’s a long road ahead, but still a far cry from the night of the shooting.
According to Morris, her two daughters got the call that Buchanan had been shot and woke their mother up.
“At first I couldn’t comprehend what they were saying, but when they put the phone to my ear and I heard ‘Erick’ and ‘shot,’ I jumped up.”
After 12 long hours of little to no information about her son’s condition or what had happened, Morris and her family were finally able to see him at the hospital around 12:45 p.m. the following day.
“To see him like that, it crushed me,” she said, “but we knew we had to stay strong for him.”
It seemed Buchanan felt the same way.
“He was emotional but kept trying to make himself strong for us. He was telling my youngest daughter not to cry and that he was going to be better soon.”
Buchanan’s aunt, Ersula May, created a GoFundMe to help pay for his current and future medical expenses. The campaign's goal is $200,000, and $4,775 has been raised at the time of this writing.
The names of the three other surviving victims have not been released, and the San Diego Police Department has yet to name any suspects. Lt. Anthony Dupree said that investigators are currently reviewing some surveillance footage of that area but they are still seeking additional information.
"Still asking those with info to come forward,” he said, adding, "If they wish to remain anonymous they can reach out via Crime Stoppers.”
Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to call the Homicide Unit at 619-531-2293 or Crime Stoppers at 888-580-8477.
To donate to Nina Silver’s GoFundMe, visit gofundme.com/f/ninaslight. To donate to Buchanan’s GoFundMe, visit gofundme.com/tragedy-to-triumph-the-story-of-erick-buchanan.