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City-parish leaders announce funeral fund, peace walk honoring slain 11-year-old
BATON ROUGE - City and parish leaders held a press conference alongside the family of an 11-year-old boy who was killed in a shooting last week, announcing plans to honor him and launching a fund to pay for his funeral.
Matthew Fortenberry was a star basketball player for Glen Oaks Park Elementary. He was a great student and someone who made an impact on friends, family and classmates.
Fortenberry and his basketball team were supposed to be honored during Wednesday's Metro Council meeting.
"Matthew was supposed to be here standing where we are right now, accepting a proclamation, celebrating his basketball championship. Yet we're here talking about his funeral service," Councilman Darryl Hurst said.
Matthew Fortenberry's parents, Michael Fortenberry and Francesca Isaac, were joined by Mayor Sharon Weston Broome, District Attorney Hillar Moore and Councilman Darryl Hurst at the briefing on Wednesday. The Matthew Fortenberry Funeral Expense Fund was established in partnership with b1Bank to provide some relief for Matthew's family, the mayor's office said.
Contributions can be made by calling or visiting your nearest b1Bank branch.
"We need to put the guns down. It has to stop," said Matthew's father, Michael. "Ain't nothing changed. Only thing that changed is it's just my son. This goes on every day. I'm probably not the only father who's going to be up here, I'm probably not the last."
Michael Fortenberry also talked about how his son was excelling in the classroom.
"He was going to sixth grade going into Middle School. And right when I thought it would get tough on him in school, he showed me it wasn't. His grades got better," Michael said.
Police said a 17-year-old allegedly held Fortenberry and his family at gunpoint inside a car. The teenage suspect, Kelton Maloid, was also wounded by gunfire in the encounter, but it's still unclear who shot him. Police believe Maloid was trying to draw out one of the victims' relatives by holding the family captive.
"Let us not let the death of Matthew Fortenberry be in vain," Mayor Broome said. "Let us honor his memory by taking concrete steps to end the senseless violence that has taken too many lives in our community."
Hurst said the parish will also host a parade celebrating Matthew and his teammates' recent sports achievements at Glen Oaks Park Elementary, as well as a peace walk honoring Matthew's life April 29.
Read the statement from the mayor's office below.
"District Attorney Hillar Moore, Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome and Councilman Darryl Hurst announced today the Matthew Fortenberry Funeral Expense Fund with b1Bank. The fund was established to assist the family with the funeral expenses for 11-year-old Matthew Fortenberry. Donations to the Matthew Fortenberry Funeral Expense Fund can be made at any b1Bank location. Cash and checks are accepted. Locate the nearest b1Bank by calling 877-614-7600 or visit b1BANK.com"
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