It was an emotional, tear-filled day for family and friends of slain twin brothers Jeremi and Jonathan Berry.
Funeral services were held for the 17-year-old boys who were gunned down inside their home in Wylam eight days ago.
Those in attendance did their best to celebrate the lives of their lost loved ones rather than focusing on the unimaginable circumstances surrounding the twins' tragic deaths.
One by one, family and friends made the painstaking walk up to each of the boy's caskets to say their final goodbyes. The heartbreak reached a fever pitch when the twins' mother was wheeled to her sons' caskets where she hovered over their bodies, sobbing uncontrollably.
LaTasha Berry, who was shot and paralyzed from the waist down just moments before her sons were killed, was temporarily released from UAB Hospital to attend the funeral. Family members declared the commencement of healing following today's services.Walter Thomas says he has fond memories of his older cousins who had a knack for mechanics and fashion. "They taught me everything about how I could just fix stuff on my own. They taught me how to fix a bike, they were teaching me about cars, and they taught me how to keep my shoes clean and look good everywhere I go," said Thomas.
Pastor Michael Wesley of Greater Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church and a friend of the family says the violent nature of the twins' death should serve as an eye-opener to the community. "It really is tragic because when you lose a black male, you lose generations. You lose not only that person, but you lose his children and his grandchildren and future generations," said Wesley.
Though Birmingham police have since charged Stanley Chatman, 26, and Crystal Nelson, 21, with murder in connection with the shootings, some think more people should be held responsible. "I hope they find the rest of them. Because they don't deserve to be free. Because they took my cousin's life so they deserve to be locked up," said Thomas.
We were told the mother was in too much pain to offer a statement. Her sister, Tasha Milligan, says LaTasha Berry will return to the hospital, where she will remain for an undetermined amount of time.