Greenville SC school shooting victim laid to rest at funeral

The visiting line wrapped around the sidewalk as hundreds of people gathered Saturday afternoon at Relentless Church to honor the short life of Jamari “Mari” Cortez Bonaparte Jackson, a 12-year-old boy who was was killed in a shooting at a school last week.

Jamari died after being shot at Tanglewood Middle School on March 31, allegedly by another 12-year-old student.

A montage of photos and video showing Mari, as they called her, on the playground and playing basketball as friends and families passed by to say their final goodbyes. He was shown holding his sister’s hand as they raced down the beach towards the ocean, driving go-karts and shyly hiding from the camera like tweens tend to do.

The tapestry inside Jamari’s coffin was printed with his name, a recent Christmas photo, and the dates of the child’s first and last breaths.

May 18, 2009 – March 31, 2022.

“He was 12 years old and here we are talking about him in the past tense,” said relentless pastor John Gray.

Family and friends wore red, some with the buffalo plaid pattern the family wore in their Christmas photos that now commemorate Jamari, to honor the child who carried a goofy personality and a love of dogs.

The tragedy:Tanglewood Middle School shooting victim identified as community grappling with tragedy

What’s next for the defendant:Here’s what’s next for a child charged with murder in a Tanglewood school shooting

Visitors attend the funeral of Jamari Cortez Bonaparte-Jackson at Relentless Church in Greenville, Saturday, April 9, 2022.

A relentless minister read Bible verses as members of Jamari’s family took turns leaning over the coffin to kiss his head or hold his hands one last time. They held each other tight, rubbing their backs and wiping away tears, moaning as the child-sized coffin was closed.

Her fifth-grade teacher, Emily Everard, commented on how many boys her age were “too cool” to be seen with their younger siblings, but Jamari walked happily with her younger sister and told her. said out loud to have a good day.

Everard admitted he was one of his favorite students, known for his kindness to students with special needs.

His family members said he was a young man of his word who would follow through on whatever he had in mind, whether it was to improve his grades or help around the house.

Gray called Jamari a baby deprived of the chance to grow, despite how quickly his height exceeded that of his mother.

Yet even in a time of political, racial and socio-economic division, the young man brought people together, Gray said.

The pastor called on those present to break the cycle of violence and make positive changes in their lives in the name of Jamari.

“This young man just brought people from all walks of life into one room at a time.” Gray said to the service. “And he has done more to bring healing to this community by releasing his spirit to God than most people will in a lifetime. To say 12 years was not enough misses the power of what this moment represents. Twelve years was more than enough to change the world if you let it change you.”

Visitors attend the funeral of Jamari Cortez Bonaparte-Jackson at Relentless Church in Greenville, Saturday, April 9, 2022.

The 12-year-old accused of killing Jamari was arrested at a house near the school shortly after the shooting in the middle of the school day. He is charged with murder, possession of a weapon in a violent crime, possession of a firearm on school property and unlawful possession of a weapon by a person under the age of 18. , and he remains in the custody of the Department of Juvenile Justice of Colombia.

Funeral attendees watch the casket come out after the funeral service for Jamari Cortez Bonaparte Jackson at Relentless Church in Greenville, Saturday, April 9, 2022.

A press release from the Pizarro law firm of Summerville that was shared by a family spokesperson on Saturday said Jamari’s family has enlisted the firm to help “navigate the intricacies of Mari’s passing. “.

“They ask for your continued prayers of comfort in the weeks ahead as they must fully embrace a new normal without their beloved Husband,” the press release read. “The loss of a loved one or a parent brings pain that only time can heal, but the loss of a twelve-year-old child brings unfathomable and crushing grief. The circumstances of Mari’s death are only add to the grief that his family is facing.

“As the family progresses through this process, they are asking for peace and privacy while allowing the system to function. We look forward to meeting with law enforcement and prosecution authorities in the coming week, and we We are committed to keeping the community informed of developments in this matter.”

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– Caitlin Herrington covers government and growth on the Golden Strip, and more. Contact her at and follow her on Twitter and Instagram @GVLnewsCat.

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