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Funeral held for 8-year-old shooting victim

Funeral held for 8-year-old shooting victim
Published: Jan. 16, 2016 at 8:57 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 23, 2016 at 8:57 PM EST
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Andre Lamont O'Neal Jr. (Source: Christopher 2X)
Andre Lamont O'Neal Jr. (Source: Christopher 2X)
(Source: Christopher 2X)
(Source: Christopher 2X)
(Source: Christopher 2X)
(Source: Christopher 2X)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Friends and family gathered Saturday morning to say goodbye to the 8-year-old boy shot and killed in west Louisville last weekend.

The family held funeral services for Andre Lamont O'Neal Jr. at Midwest Church of Christ.

"It was very emotional and it was emotional from the beginning to the end," Judy Wheeler, O'Neal's aunt, said. "It's still hard for us to believe. We're still in shock."

It's O'Neal's youth, and how unexpected his death was, that hit the hardest.

"I cried more for this baby than I cried for my mom," Wheeler said. "I expected my mom to pass, but not my nephew, not like this."

His family said he was full of life.

"He was smart, funny; he just lights up the room," Tarri O'Neal, O'Neal's aunt, remembered.

O'Neal was killed Jan. 9 while at a babysitter's home on N. 34th Street.

[MORE: Man says he accidentally shot & killed boy]

His neighbor, Elgin Anders Jr., said he is responsible for the shooting but that it was an accident that happened while he was grilling and had barbeque sauce on his hands.

"I should've just kept it in my pocket, but it was hanging in my pocket," Anders said. "I was like, 'Man I need to get it out of my pocket, so I was about to put it where I put it at and it slipped and pow."

O'Neal's family say there is more to the story.

"The story that the young man told was just so unbelievable to the family," Wheeler said. "Not saying that it was not an accident."

They want to know more about the final moments of the child they called "Baby Dre."

"That's all we ever ask for is the truth," Wheeler said. "He should still be with us. He should still be with us."

So far no charges have been filed in this case.

O'Neal was a student at Northaven Elementary in Jeffersonville, Ind.

Copyright 2016 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved.