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Funeral Held For SE Drive-By Murder Victim

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The funeral of 17-year-old Tavon Nelson was the first of four services for victims of the Southeast D.C. drive-by shooting.
Elliott Francis
The funeral of 17-year-old Tavon Nelson was the first of four services for victims of the Southeast D.C. drive-by shooting.

By Elliott Francis

Friends and family attended funeral services today in the district for 17-year-old Tavon Nelson. It's the first of four services for victims of the city's worst shooting in 16 years.

About 500 people crowded toward the front of this airy church and listened as family, clergy, and city leaders like D.C. Delegate Elenor Holmes-Norton tried to make sense of what happened to Tavon Nelson.

"The family was entitled to peace on good Friday," says Holmes-Norton. The family was entitled to joy on Easter Sunday, but they had neither 'cause they lost their precious Tavon."

Other city leaders there included D.C. City Council Chairman Vincent Gray, along with Council Members David Catania and Marion Barry. Mayor Fenty attended a viewing earlier in the day.

Pastor Michael Durant used his sermon to make a point about Nelson's murder.

"The truth of the matter is, it shouldn't take four people dead and five wounded to get folks pissed off about folks getting killed," says Durant.

The message wasn't lost on Tavon's mother, Michelle Nelson. But of course it was little consolation.

"There's no words for me to say; he's gone and I just hope they do something about this violence," she says.

Services for two other victims are planned for Wednesday. The two victims died at ages 18 and 19.

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