Community activist Shawntray Grant laid to rest in Savannah
SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Family members and friends gathered Wednesday to lay a community activist to rest after he was shot and killed earlier this month.
It's been almost two weeks since Shawntray Grant lost his life to something he fought hard against: gun violence. Everyone wore blue to the funeral to signify Grant's love for the marching band he was also a part of - the Savannah Blue Jackets.
Grant's family could barely hold it together when they opened the casket and let everyone see him or the last time. Grant had his high school classmates, his bullhorn crew, and his fellow activists by his side to lay him to rest. Members of the community flooded the sanctuary so they could pay their last respects. People who knew him and were impacted by him say they plan to let his legacy live on.
"The first thing I hope is that someone comes forward with information leading to an arrest. Secondly, there are great people that he was a part of who are still going to continue his legacy, and we want to end gun violence, the violence in the city, and so he was a part of tremendous people so I'm sure that they will continue to do the great work that he's been doing," said Lorenzo McDonald, Savannah Lives Matter. "Whatever we do today is going to be indicative of the great life he lived, so if he wants us to turn up, then that's exactly what we're gonna do."
"He had an impact because even though we weren't good at first, he showed us that if you try your best, put in your best work, you can get good at it," said Dekevian George, Savannah.
The people who attended Grant's funeral were all impacted by him in some way, from fighting against gun violence to even being the community's favorite DJ.
"He was special and he was the prince of this city, and it's a tragic day for the city of Savannah," McDonald said.
Friends and family say they will remember him as "Puff," the man with the bullhorn, the man who laughed and was always a shoulder for families to cry on when they lost loved ones to gun violence.
"Well, the Puff call was 'weinhere' because wherever there was something going on, he was there and so that's what we reiterate. We are in here and the city is here because of him," McDonald said.
While his loss is heaven's gain, the people of Savannah will forever remember Shawntray Grant's name.
Savannah Police say Grant died after being shot in the early-morning hours of June 15th at The View at Oglethorpe Apartments.
Friends and family held a vigil for Grant last week. It was a very emotional event as friends and loved ones held signs and wore T-shirts with the name "Puff," which is what many people called Grant. Several people also spoke about Grant and the legacy he left on the city.
"How many more hundreds or thousands of children would've benefited from this life? How many are in college today on their way to becoming professionals in this life because of this man? I'm not grieving - I'm mad," said Reverend Leonard Small at the vigil.
The funeral was held at Jonesville Baptist Church at 11 a.m.
Police continue to investigate this case.
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