RED SPRINGS, NC (WMBF) - A funeral was held Tuesday afternoon at the St. Joseph Miracle Revival Center in Red Springs for 5-year-old Alva Paisley Oxendine, who was shot and killed in Robeson County last week.
Officials said during a fight between two groups of people, Alva, who went by AJ, was struck by a bullet while sitting in the backseat of his mother’s car.
Family, friends, police officers and other community members packed the church to remember AJ’s young life.
Instead of black, AJ’s family wore blue and white.
His older cousin, along with the principal from Peterson Elementary, where he went to school, told the crowd about AJ. They spoke about his athleticism as a baseball player and how he was outgoing and kind.
Following the funeral, AJ was laid to rest in the church’s memorial garden.
Some people said they’re still shocked about what happened.
“Just in disbelief because I have grandkids and if somebody come to me and told me something like that, I just would just be terribly upset,” family friend Shelia Marshall said.
Marshall said it's the violence that made her leave home and move to Fayetteville.
“I lived in an area where every night when I came home from work there were guns shooting... people shooting,” she said.
Shearlie McBride, a relative of the boy’s mother, who also serves as a town commissioner, admitted she was troubled by AJ’s death.
“I was a little bit upset because of things that were going on anyway, but I’m more concerned about our children and our young people,” she said.
Both women agreed the violence needs to end. The community is holding a vigil for peace Thursday at 6 p.m. at the Red Springs Town Hall to raise awareness.
“We want to try and prevent some of this stuff and get back to together as a town itself... as a town coming together,” McBride said.