1-year-old Davell Gardner, who was shot dead at a Brooklyn barbecue was laid to rest by his heartbroken family Monday — two weeks after the bubbly.
He was buried inside a tiny casket decorated with cartoon characters and topped with a teddy bear. Mourners joined the boy’s parents, Felicia Gordon and Davell Gardner Sr., to pay their final respects at the Pleasant Grove Baptist Church on Fulton Street in Bedford-Stuyvesant, about a mile and a half from the park where the tot lost his life on July 12.
“It just hurts,” a tearful Davell Gardner Sr. said during the service. “My son is gone. I don’t have nobody. I don’t have somebody to call me daddy, daddy, daddy.”
“They took my family,” he said. “I love you junior.”
The boy’s blue and gray casket featured characters from the Cocomelon cartoons and was flanked by two large white floral arrangements, one in the shape of a heart.
A teddy bear and stuffed Elmo toy sat on top.
“Jr. was a baby that smiled and showed his dimples with a sparkle in his eyes,” the family wrote in the funeral program. “He loved his sister Faith and thought he was the big brother, telling her to sit. My baby is in heaven and he’s the family guardian angel. He will never be forgotten.”
The Rev. Al Sharpton, who delivered the eulogy, called the boy’s death “a disgrace,” and decried the sure of gun violence on the streets.
“If nothing shakes this community, to see this young baby in a casket that doesn’t even need pallbearers,” Sharpton said. “His father could’ve walked him down by himself. This is a disgrace.”
“I don’t care who you are, what title you got, how much money you got,” he said. “If you can look at a baby and not stop this gun violence, you are not worth anything to anybody. The problem we got is too many people with titles, no functions.”
The toddler was shot near the Raymond Bush Playground in Bedford-Stuyvesant on July 12 when a shooter opened fire on a cookout. Davell was hit in the stomach and taken to Maimonides Medical Center, where he was initially expected to survive.
He was pronounced dead hours later.
Three men, ages 27, 35, and 36, were wounded in the shooting but all suffered non-life-threatening injuries.
Three days later, police took Deshawn Austin into custody as a person of interest in the case. Austin, an alleged member of the Hoolie Blood gang, was accused of shooting a rival gang member on Nostrand Avenue in March but was also suspected in Davell’s fatal shooting.
However, police have not filed any charges in the boy’s death.
Also among those in attendance at his funeral were state Attorney General Leticia James and city Councilman Robert Cornegy.
“There is a special place in hell for the individuals who did this,” James said. “I urge you to surrender yourself immediately.”
“There are individuals in this church who know whose responsible for this,” she said. “Black lives and the lives of babies must matter to us first and foremost.”
The Lawrence H. Woodward Funeral Home on Troy Street is handling the services.