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Funeral held for 11-year-old shot and killed in hostage situation
BATON ROUGE - One by one 11-year-old Matthew Fortenberry's family, friends, and teammates came to say their final goodbyes at his funeral on Friday.
His basketball coach told stories of how great of a player he was.
"As soon as he got a chance to get onto that court. He showed how he could be a good teammate. He led by example with that," Coach Daniel Fisher said.
Matthew was shot and killed on March 16, allegedly by 17-year-old Kelton Maloid.
Police say Maloid held Matthew and four of his family members hostage at gunpoint while he was on the phone with someone, telling them to come to the area.
"I know I'm going to remember him every day, it's just tough," said Matthew's father Michael Fortenberry. 'It's a tough pill to swallow."
Michael says his son had a strong personality that is already missed at their home.
"He would get on the whole house's nerves," he said. "That's just the presence, it's empty now. I got to work with my other kids to fill that back in. It's going to be hard, I'm up for the task."
Michael says he can forgive Maloid, but he won't forget. He says he is now working with city leaders to stop the violence.
"Think twice about it," Michael said. "You got a beautiful life ahead of you. Think twice about making important decisions in your life. Put down the guns, and stop the violence."
Maloid will be back in court on April 17. We expect to learn more about what happened the night of the shooting.
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