The emotional funeral for a 9-year-old Ferguson, Missouri, girl killed while she was doing her homework drew hundreds of mourners at the Friendly Missionary Baptist Church in St Louis on Saturday.
“The entire community, region, country, we’ve all been wounded along with you,” the Rev. Michael Jones told Jamyla Bolden’s family as the services began, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. “We dare not say we experience it in the same way as you.”
Jamyla was shot and killed in Ferguson earlier this month after shots were fired into her home one block over from West Florissant Ave., which has been the center for protests in Ferguson after Michael Brown’s shooting death more than a year ago at the hands of Officer Darren Wilson.
Police arrested De’Eris Marquan Brown of O’Fallon, Missouri, last week in connection with the shooting. Authorities said that he confessed to firing into the home, adding that Jamyla was not the intended target.
Jamyla’s mother was also injured in the shooting, though she is expected to make a full recovery.
A number of Ferguson police officers attended the service, including those who responded to the 911 call.
“We are here for you,” Sgt. Dominica Fuller told Jamyla’s family. “The city of Ferguson. The community. Look at what she brought together.”
During his eulogy, the Rev. George Bowers of St. John Church of God in Christ noted that Jamyla’s death had helped unite the community.
“God doesn’t make mistakes,” he said. “Everything he’s doing, he’s doing for a reason … A whole lot of us here today may not be in a sanctuary for a long time. God has a way of bringing us together.”
Bowers added: “Sometimes God has to do things to get us to the place he wants us to be. He wants us to love one another.”
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