It was Genevieve “Marie” Phillip’s turn Tuesday. Two of her close friends were buried last week, and during Phillip’s funeral, a familiar plea rose from the pulpit: that witnesses help authorities solve the triple homicide and that the victims’ friends and family leave vengeance “in God’s hands.”
“We are in pain and don’t understand what could have possibly pushed a sick individual who so recklessly and callously stole Genevieve from us,’’ said Councilor Charles Yancey, speaking to about 800 mourners inside the Grace of All Nations Church on Washington Street in Dorchester.
“We don’t want vigilante actions to be taken against that sick individual who needs help. But we cannot allow this to stand,” Yancey said.
Phillip died alongside Sharrice Perkins and Kristen Lartey, two close friends since high school. The three 22-year-olds were shot to death as they sat in a car parked on Harlem Street on Aug. 12. Another friend was wounded in the leg and survived. The four women had just toasted their friendship during a popular festival and cookout at Franklin Park.
No arrests have been made. Police have said that the shootings appear to be gang-related and that one of the victims was targeted. Authorities have declined to say which woman was targeted or what the specific motive may have been.
Phillip, of Milton, left behind a 5-year-old daughter, Aria. The girl, dressed in a light-purple dress, made an impromptu singing performance with another girl during her mother’s funeral, providing a bit of levity as she and her duet partner debated whether they wanted to sing.
Close family friend Marsha Martin read a poem she wrote titled “No Words.”
“There are no words that will bring Marie back, tomorrow. There are no words that will dry the tears from your eyes . . . ”
Phillip’s mother, Genevieve Tonge, spoke briefly during the funeral, thanking people for their support during her family’s grieving. She mentioned a card she received in her mailbox a few days ago, left by a neighbor. The card contained a poem that Tonge said “spoke to me.”
Omar Phillip, the victim’s brother, prompted laughter when he thanked his sister for helping him get through college by writing a few papers for him.
The eulogy, delivered by Bishop A. Livingston Foxworth, started out in solemn fashion, but turned humorous at unexpected moments.
“ ’Cause it’s unnatural for a mother, especially a mother as young as Genevieve [Tonge] over here, amen, 32 and a half . . . ” he said, eliciting laughs from mourners who know Tonge to be in her 50s. “It’s unnatural for a mother to bury her child.”
The charismatic preacher roused the crowd, telling them that his intention was to leave them feeling better than when they arrived.
“Turn to your neighbor and say, ‘Neighbor, I feel so much better,’ ” he exhorted them.
Foxworth also asked attendees to send a text message to a specific number. When they did, a message came back, addressed to the victim’s family and friends, with a Bible verse: “Come to me all of you who are tired from carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest.”