PHILA., Pa. (WTXF) - - Another tragic murder on our city streets and another day of looking for solutions. But today Bill Anderson spoke to a mother and a funeral director who are using this serious situation and some extreme tactics to try to inspire peace.
Shakira Fagan recently lost her son when he was shot to death while hanging out with friends. 17-year-old Irell Williams was an aspiring rapper.
Romaine Gibbs, a pastor and funeral director who worked in Williams’ funeral, decided to teach a lesson to the deceased teenager’s friends.
He invited three of them into the funeral home to help him dress the boy’s body. He hoped they would gain understanding after seeing what he sees every day.
“The reality that this is real…..my homie I used to hang with, my homie I used to rap with, laying on the table breathless, lifeless,” one friend said.
After one of the boys shared a photo of the experience on social media, the post was shared thousands of times and received hundreds of comments.
“I just wanted to bring awareness to the kids that this could be any of y’all,” Shakira said. “I wanted them to see how it goes when a teenager dies.”
The experience certainly taught the boys a lesson.
“People dying every day out here but you’ve got to cherish your loved ones, stay out the streets and do what you’ve gotta do for you and your family,” one boy said. “You’ve gotta cherish every moment with your loved ones, cherish every second with them.”