Funeral for Teenage Murder Victim Held in S. Linden
Updated: Friday, January 25 2013, 08:01 PM EST
COLUMBUS -- Police surrounded a South Linden church Friday to ensure that no violence would interrupt the funeral of a murdered teen.
Mourners gathered at the Bethel A.M.E. Church on Cleveland Ave. to celebrate the life of 15-year-old Linden-McKinley High School freshman Keawaun Coleman, who was fatally shot January 17 near an alley across the street from the church that housed his funeral.
Two teens have been charged with Coleman's murder, and are currently in police custody. Dr. Irvin Smith, a pastor who spoke at Coleman's funeral, told ABC 6/FOX 28 he hopes the young people that attended Friday's services can learn from the circumstances surrounding their friend's death.
"These kind of things should not happen," Smith said. "Hopefully, the children came away today with some learnings from this so this doesn't have to happen."
Columbus City Schools buses transported students to the funeral, which was also attended by district superintendent Gene Harris.
A friend of the victim's family said the funeral serves as an unfortunate reminder of the violence that is an all-too familiar reality for many young central Ohioans.
"It's a shame that kids can't respect each other enough to respect each others' lives," Kalita Anderson said. "That's the part that makes it the saddest."
Police did not report any incidents or arrests during the funeral, although there were some confrontations outside the church.
Prosecutors have requested that the two teens charged in Coleman's murder be tried as adults.
Reporter: Carol Luper
Web Producer: Ken Hines