Sitting in front of Brooks' home yesterday afternoon before last night's vigil, her older brother wept with family and friends.
"I just talked to her yesterday," said Khalif Mujahid Ali, 46, Tara Brooks' brother. "She didn't deserve to die senselessly like this," he said, sitting next to a pile of red, white and pink teddy bears with "R.I.P" scrawled across them. The front door of Brooks' home was still covered with yellow police tape.
Capt. James Clark of the Homicide Unit said in a news conference that police arrived at Brooks' home at 3:40 a.m. yesterday, responding to a call by 42-year-old Kevin Brooks, Tara Brooks' live-in boyfriend.
Clark said that Kevin Brooks alleges that four masked gunmen entered the rowhouse and while two of them bound Kevin Brooks' arms and legs in an upstairs bedroom, the other two restrained Tara Brooks in the living room downstairs.
Kevin Brooks said that he was dragged downstairs by the men and brought into the living room, Clark said, where the assailants demanded drugs and money from the two residents.
"At which time, [Kevin Brooks] alleges that [Tara Brooks] kept moving around, screaming, 'We don't have anything, we don't have anything,' " Clark said. "At that time, one of the masked gunmen shot her one time in the head."
Clark said that Tara Brooks was pronounced dead at the scene. Kevin Brooks suffered minor injuries to his head.
Clark also said that a small amount of marijuana and cocaine, as well as drug paraphernalia, were confiscated from the house and that Kevin Brooks is likely to be charged with drug possession.
On Upland Street yesterday, Alphonso Kemp, 20, who is Tara Brooks' cousin, said that she was tough but always looked out for him.
"She was like a mother to me," Kemp said, standing outside his empty house. "We're trying to hold it in, but it's hard."