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Community gathers at Renaissance Church of God in Christ mourning Patrick Lyoya

Mourners gather at Renaissance Church of God in Christ for Patrick Lyoya funeral in Grand Rapids, MI.
Patrick Center
WGVU Public Media
Mourners gather at Renaissance Church of God in Christ for Patrick Lyoya funeral in Grand Rapids, MI.

More than 1,000 mourners attended the funeral of Patrick Lyoya in Grand Rapids. The Congolese man was fatally shot during a struggle with a white Grand Rapids after a traffic stop April 4th.

“My heart is in my stomach. I can’t even think clearly. It’s wrong, you know?”

Chiquita Braggs knew Patrick Lyoya. She prepared the Congolese immigrant’s taxes.

“It’s like they come here for security and for a better way of living and then this happens. That’s wrong.”

Who was he in your mind?

“Fun. Loving. Cool. He didn’t miss a beat. And he was friendly, very friendly.”

Along the walkway approaching Renaissance Church of God in Christ, two tables stacked with black tee shirts.

“The tee shirts say, ‘Justice for Patrick.’

“The larges is the smallest you have? Yes. How much are they? Its donation based. Okay.”

“I’m Rama Ramaisa.”

“And on the backside, it says, ‘It is our right to live.’”

“Good morning…” More than 1,000 mourners gathered paying their respects.

“Praying for comfort for the family.”

“I’m Reverend John Mondi, Pastor of the African Fellowship Church here in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

“It is not lost in me that there are people (with) goodwill who have not only showered support for Patrick’s family but also for the entire

Congolese community and the African, the African people.”

Patrick joined WGVU Public Media in December, 2008 after eight years of investigative reporting at Grand Rapids' WOOD-TV8 and three years at WYTV News Channel 33 in Youngstown, Ohio. As News and Public Affairs Director, Patrick manages our daily radio news operation and public interest television programming. An award-winning reporter, Patrick has won multiple Michigan Associated Press Best Reporter/Anchor awards and is a three-time Academy of Television Arts & Sciences EMMY Award winner with 14 nominations.