Antwon Rose eulogized in private service |
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Megan Guza
Mourners hold hands as they pray during the funeral service for Antwon Rose at Woodland Hills Jr. High School on June 25, 2018.

Editor’s note: The family of Antwon Rose invited Tribune-Review photographer Nate Smallwood to attend Monday’s funeral service.

Antwon Rose was eulogized in a funeral service Monday —six days after the Rankin teen was shot and killed by East Pittsburgh police as he ran from a car they had pulled over.

The shooting of the 17-year-old Rose, who is black, has led to numerous demonstrations in and around Pittsburgh and sparked vigorous public debate nationally.

Monday’s service was a private one, reserved for family members, friends and former classmates of Rose’s at Woodland Hills High School, where he was an honors student. It was held at Woodland Hills Intermediate School in Swissvale.

The school district said it was honoring the family’s request for a private ceremony by restricting access to school grounds. Mourners arrived at the school about 10:55 a.m.

Priscilla Lawson said she knows the Rose family and wanted to show her support.

“It’s hard,” she said as she waited for a shuttle to take her from the Braddock Hills Shopping Center to the funeral. “They’re just trying to make it through this hard time.”

Lawson said Michael Rosfeld, the officer who shot and killed Rose as he ran away, should be in jail.

“Right is right, and wrong is wrong,” she said. “He will reap what he sows.”

Shortly after 11 a.m., shuttle drivers were ordered not to bring any latecomers to the school. There were no more open seats in the auditorium.

Police said they intended to let in about 20 cars, several more than what arrived with the procession.

The district provided shuttle service to and from the service from the shopping center.

“They’re a strong family; they’ll make it through,” said family friend Lillian McClain. “He was a fine young man from a fine family. No one has anything harsh to say about him because there’s nothing harsh to say.”

The Rev. Richard Wingfield of Braddock’s Unity Baptist Church said he wanted to attend the funeral to show support for the Rose family.

“I feel it’s my duty to be here,” he said, noting that his congregation has been shaken by the shooting.

“People are hurting. I can feel the pain,” he said. “It hurt me; it really hurt me. That could have been my son.”

Hundreds of mourners filed through a Homestead funeral home during Sunday’s visitation for Rose. Family members declined to speak to reporters, but attorney Lee Merritt said the family will continue to press for criminal charges to be filed against Rosfeld.

Protesters took to the streets of Pittsburgh and its suburbs each night since the shooting, shutting down parts of East Pittsburgh on Wednesday; the Parkway East on Thursday night; streets in Downtown Pittsburgh, the city’s North Shore and the Homestead Grays Bridge on Friday night; and Pittsburgh’s South Side late Saturday.

Megan Guza is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at [email protected]

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