Family, friends and community members said goodbye to local rapper “Lor Scoota” Friday morning.
The Baltimore rapper became known by so many for his song "Bird Flu." For many, his death is the reality of another young life taken too soon.
The funeral service was at times joyous while also taking a more somber tone as nearly a thousand people packed into the the Empowerment Temple.
Through a spokesman, the family of the 23-year-old, whose real name is Tyriece Watson, said they're still reeling from his loss.
"We're strong and the family continues to articulate their desire to see justice not just in this tragedy, but for all of the victims, and to see change," said Marvin KcKenstry.
The pain of that tragedy was visible on the faces of his family as their motorcade moved toward Watson's burial following the service.
Watson was gunned down last week after he left a peace event in northeast Baltimore.
He was known for his lyrics about the gritty Baltimore streets, but people who worked with him as he traveled the city speaking out against gun violence said that was merely a persona, and he believed deeply in anti-violence.
"That's why we're talking about it, but this discussion needs to happen, about the illegal handguns that fester our city," said Nick Mosby, a Baltimore City Councilman representing the city's 7th councilmanic district. Mosby invited Watson to speak to students at several Baltimore schools, including Frederick Douglass, where he graduated.
During Watson's eulogy, Rev. Dr. Jamal Bryant gave a fiery speech about the lack of opportunity that plagues many of Baltimore's young people, and likely contributed to the rappers death.
"This was a black man who stood for what he believed in, and don't you dare kill the messenger just because you don't like the message!" he said during his speech, drawing the applause and praises of the majority of those in attendance.
"It's not his fault there's 16,000 vacant homes in Baltimore."
RELATED: Police call for tips, video in shooting death of local rapper 'Lor Scoota'
A community “Heal the city” repast was held in the 1500 block of Pennsylvania Ave. where members of the community where Watson lived listened to his music while munching on sno-cones and eating barbequed hotdogs and hamburgers.
Surveillance video of a green van, believed to be driven by the suspects in Watson's killing, has been released, though police have not made any arrests.
Outside the funeral, Watson's family questioned city leadership.
"It's a shame that we didn't see the mayor present, or the city council, to just take a minute out and to show their respects to the family and condolences for this lost son of Baltimore," McKenstry said.
RELATED: Police release video of suspects' car in Lor Scoota's murder
Watson’s death is still under investigation, and police have asked the public to send in tips. Information can be sent via text to 443-902-4824 or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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