The World at its End: When Funerals Get Shot Up

The World at its End: When Funerals Get Shot Up

Story tools

A A AResize

Print

 

Editor’s Note: As bullets rang out at a funeral in East Oakland last Tuesday, the author thought the world around him was coming to an end. Two teens have been charged the in the shooting that police are calling gang related. Bobby Jackson, 19, is a content producer at YO! Youth Outlook Multimedia and a resident of East Oakland.

OAKLAND -- My friend Vontay’s funeral got shot up a few days ago. I met Devonte Riley, 18, through my twin brother a couple of years ago.

My brother brought him up to Rainbow Park one day and introduced us to each other, we clicked off top. He was real laid back, ‘out the way’, if you know what I mean. He had funny jokes to tell. We didn't really hang out tough like that, but when we did, we used to rock with each other. It was always good between us.

Last month Vontay was shot and killed at his birthday party by a 15-year-old girl. I still don’t know why. On April 27, 2010 Vontay’s funeral was destroyed by bullets.

Before the two shooters came in everybody was doing good. People were everywhere talking and stuff. It was like a lightweight function/party - without the dancing.

It was crazy because about a week before Vonay was killed he talked about how he had wanted his funeral to be like a function - hella people, dudes and females mingling and being social, celebration like -- and that’s exactly how it was. He told me he didn't want his picture on a RIP hoodie sweater, he wanted his likeness on hats and that’s how it was.

About two to three hundred folks were outside the church and it was easily five hundred people inside. The funeral had just started going when two young black men, wearing black hoodies, came inside. They pulled guns out as they walked up the center aisle.

I was in the balcony section at the top. It was hella people in that church, there wasn’t even enough room in the pews for people, many had to stand up. There were even some folks standing in the doorways. The shooters looked around for a second, then all of a sudden one of ‘em yelled out “N---as got five seconds to clear this M-tha f--ka.”
“One!“
“Two!”
“Three!”
Pop. Pop. Pop. Pop. Pop Pop Pop

Before he got to five they started busting. Everybody was running in every direction, not knowing where to go or what to do. Some people were crying, you could see faces full of anger as they ducked and dodged. Peoples eyes were big, some were shaking and some so scared they ran over other folks. No one wanted to get shot.

I knew people were going to bring guns because my twin kept telling me to keep my eyes open, as if he knew something was going to happen.

It seemed like everyone was strapped.

The church was packed because everyone knew Vontay or they came because they knew it was the place to be that day. It was a lot of females there, it was disrespectful to a grieving mother, a lot of dudes were there just to talk to the ladies.

I think other people came because they knew they were going to see people they didn't like.

Since the shooting happened rumors are flying around the town. Some young males are saying the next funeral they go to they’re going to bring guns because anything can happen. Some are scared to go to any more funerals because of the young men in Oakland who don't care who they hurt or kill, their bullets have no names on them.

I really think the world is coming to an end. Because of how these young males are acting these days more church and funeral shootings are bound to happen.

I remember seeing Vontay’s mom after the ruckus died down. She was so sad and upset. She told everyone that only family would be allowed to come to the burial. I felt sad because this drama was super disrespectful to Vontay’s memory and his poor mother.