Jeremiah Hughes was mowing a lawn on a Wednesday afternoon when two men barged through an alley gate. They were armed. Shots rang out.
Hughes died in the yard and was taken to the morgue and then to El Bethel Church of God in Christ, where days later he lay in an open, emerald-green casket as muffled cries rose through a hymn on a loudspeaker. He was 24 and had his mother’s name — Gwen — tattooed on his left hand.
Velvet ropes surrounded his casket to prevent people from grabbing for him in their despair.