Updated 12/03/2010 05:09 PM
Rashad Walker Jr. laid to rest
Hundreds pack a Syracuse church in a final tribute to a child whose life had just begun when it was taken from him. 20-month-old Rashad Walker Junior died Sunday, one of two victims of what police say were two recent gang-related shootings. Our Kat De Maria was there as little Rashad was laid to rest Friday.
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SYRACUSE, N.Y.--The people who filled the Payton Memorial Temple were many beyond who little Rashad Walker Junior could have had the chance to meet in his less than two years of life.
"Lot of people, everybody just showing their love and their respect for the baby," said Marissa Gainey, of Syracuse.
"It's jam packed, it's stuffed. There's hardly room to move or sit. And it's sad. You can feel it in the air," said James Brown, who is related to the family.
Mourners filed in and out of the church for hours, moved by the tragedy of the child killed by gunfire and taken from his parents, Kameka and Rashad.
"Kameka, she's my friend. And I have a baby," Gainey said.
"I have three children of my own. I don't know what I would do. My heart goes out to the mother and the family. I mean it's a tragedy. It's a shame. The violence needs to stop," said Shanta Washington, a family friend.
Little Rashad died Sunday, police say the innocent victim of a gang-related shooting. The police chief, who briefly stopped by the services Friday, says it was in retaliation for another shooting that claimed the life of a 19-year-old former sports star.
"Is this a message? Is this enough for young people to see that it has to stop? There's no future in this. On both sides, it's always someone locked up for life, someone in the ground. And families left to mourn on both sides," Brown said.
"People just need to grow up. When a kid's involved, it's just not right...Put the guns down and just grow up," Gainey said.
21-year-old Sequan Evans has been arrested and charged with Walker's murder.