Atlanta

‘No one knows my heartache,' mother says at funeral for 8-year-old Secoriea Turner

ATLANTA — A little girl killed near the site of another deadly shooting was laid to rest today.

Secoriea Turner’s funeral started at 11 a.m. at New Calvary Missionary Church in Atlanta.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the funeral was a private, invitation-only service. The service was streamed at www.mbfh.com.

The 8-year-old was killed on July 4 near the Wendy’s restaurant in Atlanta where Rayshard Brooks was killed by police.

Secoriea’s mother, Charmaine Turner, delivered an emotional eulogy.

“They say there’s a reason. They say time will heal,” Turner said. “But neither time or reason will change how I feel.'

“No one knows my heartache. No on knows how many times I’ve prayed that my baby would be here,” Turner said. “So there won’t be any doubt, you’re so wonderful to think about. But so hard to be without.”

Channel 2′s Tom Jones spoke with Secoriea’s teacher and a young friend after the service.

“I’m telling you, this first grader was a real unicorn,” Joya Florence said.

The child’s former teacher said Secoriea came to the first day of school in a pink tutu and a backpack with a unicorn on it. When other students said their names when they were cold, Secoriea announced that her name was ‘unicorn.'

Secoriea’s cheerleading coach said that there was never a dull moment when she was around. She said Secoriea is so special, she wanted to honor her memory.

“We are retiring her jersey,” the coach said. “I just want you to know that we love her.”

Yana Harmon is a friend of Secoriea’s family. She was so emotional, she had to leave the funeral.

“You just want to know who hurt this baby,” Harmon said. “So I know this child wants to know who hurt this baby. Please somebody just tell us who hurt this baby.”

“She was the best friend I ever had,” a young friend told Jones.

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Last week, police released photos of two men they called “persons of interest.”

One of those men, Julian Conley, 19, turned himself in on Wednesday.

Conley has been charged with murder and aggravated assault. Conley has said that he was present when Secoriea was shot and had a weapon, but he was not the shooter.

Conley told Jones he saw the shooting but doesn’t know the shooter’s name.

Reginald Benford, a member of Secoriea’s family, said charges are one thing, but not enough.

“I wouldn’t feel a measure of justice until they are tried and punished,” Benford said.

There is a $50,000 reward for information leading to a conviction in the case.