ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — Hundreds of people gathered over the weekend to mourn a 10-year-old boy killed in a shooting at a high school football playoff game in New Jersey and to call for an end to such violence
Micah Tennant, who died five days after gunfire erupted in the stands Nov. 15 at a Pleasantville High School game, was described by speakers at Saturday’s funeral in Atlantic City as a good student who liked helping others, was interested in being a DJ and always had a smile.
“This really hit home, and for these children to endure this is just so unfair,” Mayor Marty Small Sr. said. “We got to stop this senseless violence because it is accomplishing nothing, but it’s killing people who we know and love.”
Mourners filled the sanctuary at New Shiloh Baptist Church to capacity as well as the chapel and stretched into the fellowship hall, where people watched the service on a television.
Family friend Shauna Simpson said Micah’s talent and dedication made him seem beyond his 10 years.
“He’s an old soul. He’s been here before,” said Simpson, who said his death has hit the community hard. “Everyone is hurting.”
Six men have been charged, including a wounded 27-year-old man authorities said was targeted by the suspected gunman, who faces murder, attempted murder and weapons charges.
Small said a city park now in some disrepair will be refurbished and renamed Micah “Dew” Tennant Park.
“We’re going to make that playground a place Dew could be proud of,” he said. “We’re going to make it a true community place.”
Religious leaders and elected officials urged the community to support one another, and a billboard tribute on Black Horse Pike in Pleasantville reads “We must stop the violence.”
“We all suffer with the death of this young man,” Bishop James Washington, the church’s senior pastor, said after the service. “We have to begin young, teaching the value of life.”