Hundreds say goodbye to Grant

January 7, 2009 5:08:09 PM PST
The young Hayward man, who was killed by the BART officer's bullet, was remembered on Wednesday, as a loving father. Nearly 700 people attended funeral services for Oscar Grant.

Oscar Grant's family and friends filed past his casket for a final look and a final farewell.

This service was called a 'home going celebration' -- not a funeral. The focus was on the 22-year-old man's life, not his death.

"Oscar loved to swim, the game of baseball he enjoyed videos and hanging out with his friends," said family friend Donna Smith.

Through pictures and words grant was remembered as a cherished son, and brother, as a devoted father. Life-long friends talked about his unconditional love.

"Oscar man, we'd like to start by saying we love you, we will miss you so much. It's so difficult knowing we'll never see, touch or be with you again," said Oscar's best friend Kris Raffety.

A standing room only crowd packed the Hayward church to pay their respects.

Oscar Grant had a troubled past, but his family says he turned his life around -- especially after his 4-year-old daughter was born.

"I want to challenge all the young men here today, let's keep Oscar's memory going. Make changes in your life that he was making to be a better man," said family friend Lita Gomez.

During most of the service, there was little mention of the circumstances of Grant's death. But outside the church, some in the crowd were on edge.

"Be calm, be calm. It's going to be okay," said church deacon Keith Browne.

"There is a lot of anger and animosity and those are natural feelings, but we have to disperse," said Oscar's uncle Daryl Dancy.

Oscar Juliuss Grant III was buried at Lone Tree Cemetery in Hayward.

Oakland's mayor also weighed in on the New Year's Day BART shooting.

In a statement Mayor Ron Dellums said: "I am profoundly saddened by the turn of events that resulted in the loss of a young man's life. Our hearts and deepest wishes for peace go out to the families and loved ones of all the parties involved in this tragic event. While the investigation now underway may shed light on specific details of the shooting, at the end of the day, establishing culpability will not bring back a life tragically lost."


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