Mourners gather for funeral of 7-year-old Amari Brown

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The death of Amari Brown has drawn attention all over the country, and family and friends of the 7-year-old gunned down in Chicago on the Fourth of July gathered for his funeral Saturday.

In a sad coincidence, a funeral was also held Saturday for 17-year-old Vonzell Banks, who was killed last week at a park named for Hadiya Pendleton, yet another victim of gun violence.

Both services were packed with the heartbroken and those simply tired of the gang and gun violence in Chicago.

A community of friends and neighbors joined the grief-stricken family of Brown as they said a tearful goodbye to one of the Chicago's youngest victims of gang gunfire.

"Seven-year-old Amari, he didn't get a chance to live his life and it's just sad," said family friend Tyhesha Haynes.

Hundreds packed the filled-to-capacity sanctuary of Mount Vernon Baptist Church on the city's West Side for the boy's funeral. Among them was U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk.

"I think it's a complicated situation. This happens too much in Chicago," Kirk said.

While most in attendance were dressed in all white as a tribute to the second grader, some donned Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle garb because Brown was a fan.

"I'm a parent myself and I'm tired of seeing this happen," Nina Rose said.

Along with the feelings of sadness, some say there is anger after Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy called the boy's father, Antonio Brown , a ranking gang member, saying he was the intended target of the shooting.

Investigators say Amari Brown was with his dad when he was shot and killed on the Fourth of July holiday weekend outside a Humboldt Park home.

"Whether the father is a gang leader or sold drugs, one thing we know baby Amari didn't sell drugs," said Rev. Ira Acree, Greater St. John Bible Church. "Baby Amari was not a gang leader."

Chicago also said an emotional goodbye to 17-year old Vonzell Banks, who was shot on July 3 while playing basketball at Hadiya Pendleton Park near 43rd and Calumet in the Bronzeville neighborhood.

"He was a beautiful child, a god-fearing child," said Banks' grandmother, Jeannette Banks.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel attended Saturday's service, offering his condolences to the family before urging residents to come forward and help get justice for the city's victims of gun violence.

"I want you to walk from here and remember a drum major, not just lay another one to rest, but speak up, speak out and stand up," Emanuel said.

No arrests have been made in either shooting.

Community activists are offering a $6,000 reward to anyone with information leading to the person who shot and killed Brown.

Also on the South Side Saturday night, a vigil was held for slain teen Kimythe Hubbard. He is the third student from Dunbar High School to be killed in the last two weeks.

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