CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - A homegoing service for Bobby McKeithen, 16, who was shot and killed at Butler High School on Monday, was held at the Progressive Baptist Church in west Charlotte today.
Hundreds of people from the community packed the church. It was standing room only.
The service today was specifically a homegoing, not a funeral, because those celebrating Bobby’s life were working toward accepting that Bobby will never come home from school again, because he has gone on to a forever home.
“Homegoing is basically celebrating his life," said Mario Black, the founder of Million Youth March Charlotte. “And that’s what we’re doing today celebrating the life of Bobby.”
Bobby was shot and killed by fellow student, 16-year-old Jatwan Cuffie. Cuffie is now charged with first degree murder.
Other Butler students, like Bobby’s special friend Anna O’Connell, remembered him at the service today.
“Dear Bobby, from the first time I met you I knew you were something special," O’Connell. "A one of a kind special that will never be replaced.”
Bobby’s cousin Justin Hill called for people to just love each other.
“To love people as he loved us and if we were doing that I wouldn’t be talking right now and Bobby would be breathing right now,” said Hill.
Mecklenburg Sheriff-Elect Gary McFadden said he is tired of the problems that may have led to this.
“Do not be the messenger of drama," said McFadden. "If you don’t stop we will still have these services and mother’s will keep burying their children.”
Bobby’s mother, Ashley McKeithen, was in tears throughout the service.
Donna Riley talked to Ashley McKeithen just before the service began.
“She said it’s like a dream,” said Riley.
A dream that is now a reality for this community.
“Your memory feels like home to me," said O’Connell. "I remember every day at school I would hug you and look up at you and tell you it feels like home.”
Service-goers also said that they are praying for Cuffie and his family, as they are going through a great loss as well.