PITTSBURGH (AP) _ More than 100 people gathered Saturday at a funeral service for a mother of five who was among those killed earlier this month in gunfire at a western Pennsylvania cookout.
They paid their respects at Mulberry Community Church, in Wilkinsburg, to Tina Shelton, 37, who was killed in the March 9 gunfire in the same town that left five adults and an unborn child dead.
Mourners wept and sang, celebrating her life, before crowding the street outside to release dozens of white doves into a gray sky. Two uniformed Wilkinsburg police officers remained on the corner throughout the service, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported.
Shelton’s longtime partner, Bruce Mullen Jr., said in a letter read in the church that Shelton was killed “because God needed another angel in heaven.”
“I am going to miss your smile, your laughter, your kindness, but most of all, I am going to miss the person that made me want better in my life,” Mullen wrote.
He said he wanted to hate those responsible, but “all I hear is you telling me that we have to forgive him. … I know that you would not want us to be sad.”
A funeral service for Shada Mahone was held Monday, and a joint service for siblings Jerry Shelton, Brittany Powell and Chanetta Powell is scheduled Tuesday at The Lighthouse Cathedral in Pittsburgh’s St. Clair neighborhood.
Investigators said one man fired a pistol from an alley at the backyard gathering, prompting the cookout guests to run toward a house for cover, where they were gunned down by another man with an assault rifle.
An official said Friday that authorities believe they have identified suspects, but arrests aren’t imminent.