Victims’ funerals spread hope, heart change to city following tragic murders


INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – One of the mothers of the young people killed in the murders on February 5 invited FOX59 to the funeral services on Thursday afternoon. Kimberly Roberts is Jalen Roberts’ mother, and she believes giving access to our cameras will help spread hope to more people.

Family, friends and neighbors packed into the Friendship Missionary Baptist Church to honor Jalen and Marcel Wills. While plenty of people cried, a feeling of hope permeated the sanctuary.

Kimberly said she, her family and Marcel’s family wanted people to feel encouraged to change their lives by changing their hearts and minds through the message preached at the funeral.

“I’m going to let you rest in the arms of Jesus because I know you are safe,” Kimberly said. “I know I don’t have to worry no more. Marcel, I’m going to do the same.”

As young and old sat eye level with the caskets holding two young men, pastors’ encouragement challenged them to capture this moment.

“Today is your day to make up your mind that I’m going to serve my future and not serve my past,” Pastor John Girton Jr. said.

“When He created you, he created something that had purpose and destiny,” Girton said.

Girton reminded everyone where you live should not determine where you end up.

“You might not be able to change your environment, but your environment should not change you,” Girton said.

“Pastor G,” as Girton goes by, reminds us all as long as we have a heartbeat, there is still an opportunity to make a choice.

“If you want to see change, you have to use the tool of choice.” Girton said.

In one room, on a day involving death, dozens of people committed their lives during the funeral service to choosing a new path.

“Look what God is doing,” Girton exclaimed to the inspired crowd.

Following the services and burial, Kimberly surprised her daughter with cake and balloons. February 20 is not only Kimberly’s birthday but her daughter’s day too. Kimberly told FOX59 last week she chose this date as Jalen’s funeral because from now on, she expects February 20 to be a day when something exceptional happens.

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