NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A Queens teenager killed by a stray bullet while playing basketball was laid to rest Monday.
His funeral was held at the Greater Allen Cathedral on Merrick Boulevard in Jamaica, Queens.
He made one last grand entrance as a white, horse-drawn carriage carried his body.
“It’s crazy, he didn’t deserve this he was a good kid,” said Delissa Chamble, Aamir’s friend.
Hundreds of people packed the church, including those who knew the teen well and those who felt moved to attend.
The Benjamin Cardozo High School freshman, known for making an entrance on the basketball court, was shot and killed while practicing.
“He was a great kid athlete,” said Charles Coleman, Aamir’s cousin. “It’s sad, it’s heartbroken that a youth is taken off the street over a senseless act it’s something that is uncalled for.”
Police say Aamir was not the intended target when he was struck. They’re looking for two suspects, 16 and 17, who are both alleged gang members.
“Whoever did this, I hope he can pay for it, you know? That’s it,” said neighbor Janiyah Hill. “I knew Aamir to be a joyful kid, never in any mess, every time he sees me walking he always make sure to say hi.”
Candles in the shape of a heart now mark the spot where Griffin lost his life while putting in some extra playing time.
“It is not fair for the children in this community to have to see their friend in a casket,” his aunt, Akiba Griffin, told CBS2.
Aamir had just made the junior varsity basketball team days before he was killed.
“It’s really, really sad,” said head coach Ron Naclerio. “As a player, he was getting better every day. He worked so hard.”
“He used to shoot the ball really well,” sophomore Yanni Mousios said. “Recently, he actually hit a half-court buzzer-beater for the win.”
We are deeply saddened by the news of 14-year-old Aamir ‘Buddy’ Griffin’s passing in Queens over the weekend. Our thoughts are with Buddy’s family at this difficult time. pic.twitter.com/LZnqlxeH8c
— NEW YORK KNICKS (@nyknicks) November 1, 2019
Police said the fatal bullet came from more than 100 yards away and was meant for someone else.
“He’s a poster child for doing the right thing and he’s iconic. It’s sad that he will never see what he did to a whole community,” said family spokesperson Tiffany Griffin.
A community that turned out in big numbers to say goodbye to the teen know for his infectious smile.
“The family is grieving and the community is grieving as well. So we are here to help the family,” Barbara Luck said.
“It’s pretty sad that he’s gone and I’m never going to see him again,” said Renado Mahamed.
Mahamed shot hoops with Griffin just one day before he was shot.
“I’m, like, scared to go there because I know what happened to my friend. I had known him for a very long time,” Mahamed said. He hopes to one day to have the courage to go back to the court, where he hopes to have an honorary game in honor of his friend.
“We know exactly who we’re after with this recent violence,” NYPD Chief Dermot Shea said last week.
Two days after Griffin’s death, 16-year-old Ashley Ermoogan was shot by a stray bullet while leaving New Dawn Charter High School.
“It didn’t feel like it was a bullet. Then I just saw the blood and just started screaming,” she told CBS2.
Police believe both shootings stemmed from the same gang feud.
A 16-year-old boy was charged with attempted murder in Ermoogan’s death, but so far no arrests have been made in Griffin’s case.