Gun violence: Silverton family’s daughter killed in Salem shooting

September 2019 Posted in Community, People

Jennifer Black Submitted Photo

By Melissa Wagoner

Gun violence hit close to home at 1:30 a.m. on Sunday, Aug. 18, when 40 year-old, Jennifer Black – daughter of Chris Mayou and Larry Black of Silverton – was fatally shot in the parking lot of the Pine Street Pub in Salem by an unidentified gunman.

“We understand that events such as these affect not only those directly involved, but their family, friends and the community,” Salem Chief of Police Jerry Moore stated. “We are saddened by the senseless loss of life and are working hard to bring the suspect to justice.”

A man was also injured during the shooting. He was taken to Salem Hospital for treatmet. No motive has been reported, as detectives, as well as Jennifer’s family and friends, search for answers.

“On our visits to the Pine Street Pub in Salem where  she was shot, person after person approached us and shared the same thing – Jenny was so nice; she never did anything that would cause someone to hurt her,” Chris said.

“We, her family, are devastated that her life was cut short by gun violence. We are heartbroken that we never had the opportunity to have some final words with her, to say the things that needed to be said, including good-bye.”

Chris, a member of Silverton’s Planning Commission, and Larry, a recently retired custom homes contractor, are the owners of Black Construction. Jennifer was one of four children.

“In the words of her friends, Jenny was so funny, so crazy, so beautiful, and so fun-loving,” Chris described. “Also, so stubborn, or perhaps tenacious. Her family remembers her in the same way. Her enthusiasm was infectious. If Jen was in the room, you knew it.”

The mother of two children, Samantha and Ari Payne, Jennifer’s passing will undoubtedly affect them most.

“She always wanted to be a mother, and her two children were the lights of her life,” Chris said.

“She has two children, who were her heart and soul,” Jennifer’s best friend and roommate, Jerilin agreed. “She was so proud to be their mom. Anytime her children were brought up she would light up the room.”

No public service has been planned at this time, though a celebration of life will be planned for a future date.

Chris asks that those interested in sending their condolences consider donating to the website:
Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America (

“If she were here today, and she had heard of this tragedy, she would be heartbroken for the victims and their families,” Jerilin said.

“She would do something to make sure she helped, no matter what – she would find a way to make things for the family and friends a little easier. She was just that way. It didn’t matter if you were famous or you slept in a park bench every night… Jenny treated you no differently. She would see you and always greet you with a big smile and ask how you’re doing. She was the kind of person you could tell anything.

“Jenny has taken a spot in my heart that no one will ever replace. The day Jen left this world a part of me went with her.”

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