Memorial held for toddler shot in Oakland


Family and friends said goodbye to Hiram Lawrence, the toddler shot in the head a few weeks ago in West Oakland. Doctors took him off life support last week.

A horse-drawn hearse carried the casket of Hiram to an Oakland church for an emotional service.

Friends and family remembered the toddler with the bright smile: The little boy eve

ryone called "Papa," whose life was cut short just weeks before his second birthday. "Your baby has his wings now, so you move on (and) keep him in your heart," said one mourner. "He don't want you to stop. He don't want you to put your head down."

"You should be able to take your child wherever you want to take your child without being hurt," said another.

Hiram was among seven people shot in a West Oakland parking lot. A surveillance video shows at least three gunmen opening fire on a crowd gathered to make a rap video.

Some of the victims pulled their own weapons and fired back at their attackers.

"I just want to say to the killers, who's out there who have taken an innocent life, give yourself up," said Ora Knowell.

While Hiram's family grieved, some of those who spoke at the boy's service made strong appeals to the larger community to help stop the violence.

"Everybody in here -- you need to respect each other," said a mourner. "You ain't no better than nobody else, as you can see, you ain't nothing [sic] but dirt and dust."

One woman made a reference to Oakland Mayor Jean Quan, who attended Friday's service.

"The city is bigger than Jean Quan," she said. "It's us. You talk about occupying Oakland -- you need to occupy the streets, where our kids is [sic] killing one another!"

Police have detained six people of interest in connection with Hiram's murder, but so far there have been no arrests made.

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