Community pays respects to 12-year-old killed in police-involved shooting

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CLEVELAND, Ohio — Many were praying for peace during a time of loss on Sunday.

Visitation for Tamir Rice, 12, was held at Gaines Funeral Home on Union Avenue. Family, friends  and people in the Cleveland community gathered and paid respects to the young man who died in a recent police-involved shooting.

People used the opportunity to say goodbye to Rice, but also some believe the tragedy will provide the path to positive change in the community when it comes to gun violence.

"This is a sad situation, but yet we know that God is in control of everything,” said Rev. Marvin Watts, who spoke for the family on Sunday. "Yes, there is anger, but there's sadness, and there's also a sense of peace in the sense that we know where that young man is, we know that God has him."

Watts is an assistant pastor at Greater New Canaan Baptist Church. He tells Fox 8 there is so much emotion about the loss of Tamir.

"The world needs to see the tragedies that has happened to our youth,” he said.

Rice was killed on Nov. 22 after Cleveland police said he was waving a weapon around at people outside of a Cleveland recreation center. When they arrived, they said commands were not obeyed by Rice, and he was shot.

It was later discovered that Rice’s weapon was an airsoft gun.

"I think it needs to be an awakening, it needs to be an eye opener for those that care about our children -- at the end of the day, it's about our children,” Watts said.

The assistant pastor also believes Tamir’s tragedy will help save lives, because there is much to be learned from the situation.

"I'm not putting one thing on another in regards to police or anybody else, any tragedy when it comes to the loss of a child, should be an eye opener for all the world to see,” he said.

Rice will be laid to rest on Wednesday.

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