The first of three women violently gunned down while sitting in a car last week was remembered as a “doe-eyed” young woman with “moxie and guts” during an emotional funeral service yesterday.
But clergy and family members who spoke during the burial services for 22-year-old Sharrice Perkins had a larger message for the community about ending the cycle of violence.
“We have to expose the people, call names of those who sell drugs, those who run in gangs, those who commit violent acts must be exposed to the light,” said the Rev. John M. Borders III, the senior pastor of Morning Star Baptist Church in Mattapan. His message was met with applause and shouts of “Amen.”
“We cannot be afraid of exposing what we know to the authorities. Flood the lines. Snitching is an act of betrayal, but truth is a moral obligation. ... We need to learn to report all suspicious activity like we report a suspicious bag of luggage at an airport.”
Perkins, Kristen Lartey and Genevieve Philip, all 22, were sitting in a car on Harlem Street on the Dorchester-Mattapan border with a fourth woman when a gunman approached them and opened fire about 9:30 p.m. Aug. 12. The fourth woman survived. Police said they’ve received tips, but no arrests have been made.
Family members also implored young people to help stop the violence.
“The young people, you are our future and you need to start acting accordingly,” said Perkins’ aunt.
A viewing was held before the funeral started and grief overwhelmed some who attended. One man had to be held up as he became overcome with grief, while others cried uncontrollably.
Those who spoke about Perkins, who was studying engineering at Roxbury Community College, recalled her as a fashionable young woman who was mature beyond her years.
“This hurts so bad,” said the mother of her godson who broke down crying while talking about Perkins.
Perkins’ mother, Angela Francis, wrote a letter to her daughter after the murder.
“She gave me a lot of strength,” her mother said. “I will still feel your presence just when I need you.”