HOMESTEAD (KDKA) — Friends, family and others paid their respects to 17-year-old Antwon Rose at a visitation Sunday afternoon in Homestead.
The stream of people in and out of Tunie Funeral Home was steady. They were young, old, black, white, personal friends and those who came as a sign of support for Rose’s family.
Skylor Wingate-Massey came to support her daughter, who was a friend of Antwon’s.
“I can’t even begin to tell you how traumatized my daughter is,” she said. “I’ve seen her friends traumatized. For one, being in Woodland Hills this year has been traumatizing.”
Lee Merritt is one of the attorneys representing the Rose family.
“This is one of their more difficult days. Not only because they’re seeing their lifeless son lying there in a casket, but they are surrounded by people who knew him so well in life and loved him so well in life,” he said. “For a lot of parents, they think this is a dream and they’re going to get past it.”
Rose was shot and killed last week by an East Pittsburgh Police officer. The shooting has sparked nightly protests around the city, and cell phone video of the incident has captured national attention. The shooting has been ruled a homicide, but no charges have been filed in the case yet. Merritt hopes that soon will change.
“I think anybody can look at that video and say that was unnecessary,” Merritt said. “It’s inconsistent with the officer’s training, it’s inconsistent with police procedure and it’s inconsistent within the bounds of the Constitution.”
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Sunday and Monday are about paying respects, reflecting and supporting a family in deep, deep pain. Protesters who have taken to the streets for the past few nights have called a halt to sending a message until after Antwon Rose has been laid to rest, but the battle for justice for the Woodland Hills student has only just begun.
“When there is probable cause, enough evidence to establish probable cause of a crime, a warrant should be issued and arrests should be made. If that’s not done by Tuesday, then we will talk about strategies to ensure that that happens,” Merritt said.
“My question is, regardless of what he was doing, why were his rights not read to him? Why did he not have an opportunity to speak up for himself? Why was his life cut short?” Wingate-Massey said.
The large turnout Sunday was an indication of just how large the funeral service for Rose could be on Monday.
The service is set for 11 a.m. at the Woodland Hills Middle School and, according to the school district, it’s limited to family, friends and classmates.