Funeral of 7-year-old caught in gang crossfire comes as a second man is charged with her death. Sharon Wright attended the services.
Family and friends of Heaven Crystal Sutton, the 7-year-old girl who was shot to death last week, gathered Friday at St. Mark International Christian Church to say goodbye.
"It really hurts to know that these type of things still exist in this city, and it's just terrible," said Gabriel Bouldin, Heaven's cousin. "She didn't even have a chance. She wanted to just sell candy in front of a house -- and to become a victim like this, it's just not fair."
With Heaven's pink casket in the front of the church, mourners remembered the little girl, hoping for an end to the violence that took her life.
"Every day you hear something different about the kids being shot and killed on the streets," said Tamika Lofton, Heaven's aunt. "And it's a bystanders just being shot and killed every day."
The Rev. Jesse Jackson spoke at the funeral, urging all in the community to do their part to quell the violence and keep guns out of communities, asking the congregation to join him in saying in part: "We as a people must declare a war is a war."
Pastor Andre Thurmon Sr. said he hoped to see somebody's life changed as a result of the tragedy.
"But even in this tragedy of this innocent little life, there can be some great things come behind this," he said. "Jesus was an innocent man. Pilate said 'I find no fault with you' and they still killed him."
Heaven's younger relatives are also coming to grips with the tragedy.
"I can't believe she's dead," said Jalayah Lofton, 10. "She was funny. She always would be happy and she was loving, and cared about everybody."
Bouldin said he wants to see an end to the violence, not just through the law, but also in the home.
"Every time you look around you're attending a funeral," said Bouldin.
Sutton's funeral came on the same day police made a second arrest in connection with her death.