NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – There was a solemn farewell Friday for a New Jersey high school student and athlete lost to gun violence.

Friends and family came out to grieve the loss of 18-year-old Moussa Fofana, who was murdered earlier this week.

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As CBS2’s Kevin Rincon reports, the emotions were high as dozens came out to pay their final respects to Fofana. The 18-year-old was shot and killed Sunday night near the Underhill Sports Complex in Maplewood.

A funeral would usually provide some closure, but not Friday.

“And that’s the part that makes it more painful,” said family friend Donna Jean. She knew Moussa through her daughter, who was close friends with him.

A northern New Jersey community is mourning the loss of an 11th grade student who was fatally shot on his way to a friend’s house. (Credit: Joe Fabiano)

“Normally it’s said we bury our children, I can’t imagine the mother’s pain. I felt her pain. I can’t imagine her pain,” she added.

The Islamic funeral service was led by Imam Sheick Swaray, Moussa’s uncle.

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“Moussa was a very, very dedicated child in the community,” he said. “He was a child that loved his mother, respect his mother, that love everybody. Once you see Moussa, you don’t see nothing but his smile, his beautiful smile.”

The hope among many of the attendees is that Moussa’s life will inspire others to do good, as they continue their calls for justice.

“Yes, he’s going to get buried today. But still, she’s going to have sleepless nights because she doesn’t know why. Who did it and why?” said family friend Bendu Sanoh.

The community is urging whoever did this to turn themselves in.

“It would be bigger than you, in a better way. Show love. The world needs it. There will be consequences,” Jean said. “And it would make sense for the people who are confused, like my daughter, who hasn’t slept since this happened. It would bring some type of closure for those who are hurting.”

For now, investigators are still trying to figure out who shot Moussa and his friend, both students at Columbia High School, where Moussa was a standout soccer player.

His death was so close to the fields where he made his mark, it has led to the creation of an online petition as thousands already push to have the field renamed in his memory.

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Kevin Rincon contributed to this report. 

CBSNewYork Team