Before his body was taken by a horse-drawn carriage to the cemetery, Nizzel Anthony George, wearing a white tuxedo inside his white casket, was mourned in song and prayer by his family and community Tuesday morning.
Minister Laquesha Watson gave a fiery eulogy, asking God for mercy for those involved in the 5-year-old boy's life and death. "We're going to live right!" she cried.
Nizzel was killed June 26 when someone stood outside the house where he was sleeping on the couch and opened fire, striking him once in the back.
Nizzel's death should be a call to "honor the children still with us," said City Council Member Don Samuels, speaking to several hundred people at Shiloh Temple International Ministries on West Broadway.
Bishop Richard D. Howell Jr. ended the ceremony with a call for the North Side to stop the violence. "Let's call it the Nizzel pledge," he said. "We're going to get along today. In Jesus' name!"
Also Tuesday, Stephon Shannon, 17, one of two teens charged in Nizzel's death, made his initial court appearance. District Judge Daniel Mabley set his bail at $2 million. Dressed in an orange jail jumpsuit, he turned and saluted to his family before he was escorted out. His next court appearance is July 30.
MATT MCKINNEY AND ABBY SIMONS