MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Gov. Mark Dayton called it a terrible day for all of Minnesota. Wednesday, the Governor and hundreds of others attended the funeral of 3-year-old Terrell Mayes, Jr. at the True Vine Missionary Baptist in North Minneapolis.

Terrell was killed by a stray bullet on Colfax Avenue North after neighborhood gunfire last week. The bullet pierced his home as Terrell ran upstairs with his brothers to hide in a closet, carrying a plate of spaghetti. He never made it to the top of the stairs. The bullet hit the back of his head, and he died Dec. 27.

Wednesday, strangers and loved ones packed the church with heartache and without understanding.

“Needlessly, senselessly, and I say, ‘why God?’” asked Dayton, who pledged to do all he can to stop the violence in the area.

“The governor came out. The mayor has been there for me every day since it happened. I just need some time to myself now,” said Marsha Mayes, Terrell Mayes Jr. “I’m glad that the community is showing me the support. But at the end of the night it’s just me and my kids.”

A stream of family and friends stood up from the pews and cried out for change.

“We are here grieving, we lost an angel. If this doesn’t make you change, what is? If somebody will stand up today, and say I will stop gang banging because of Terrell, I will stop selling drugs because of Terrell, I will stop carrying pistols because of Terrell,” said K.G. Wilson of Hope Ministries, who says the boy’s death must stop the cycle of crime plaguing the neighborhood.

But Terrell has long inspired his family. They called him Juju — a fitting nickname for his rambunctious spirit. On Wednesday, his family members wore T-shirts with a picture of the boy and his bright smile. The shirt said “Million Dollar Smile.”

“God is good, he’s going to watch over us, and he is going to take care of all of us,” said grandmother Jacqueline Mayes through tears.

Loved ones say they can now only make sense of faith, believing the little boy who never made it up the stairs, did make it somewhere else.

“I really hope he can have a good time where he is going,” said a young friend, who was one of dozens recalling fond memories of Terrell from the pulpit. “He was really kind, and when I heard he got shot, my heart just broke in half.”

Police say they aren’t getting much help in finding out who fired the shots. MAD DADS is trying to get donations to up the reward money in hopes someone will come forward.

Police don’t believe his family was targeted. In fact, gun shots are routinely heard in his neighborhood.

Before the service, VJ Smith of MAD DADS said the family is desperate for someone to come forward.

“The family is hurting so bad,” he said. “They want to know what they can do. The community has been quiet, somebody has got to say something.”

The reward for information is currently set at $1,000.

Comments (19)
  1. tan pup says:

    What a sweet looking kid – this makes me so sad – but when is this “community” going to stop protecting their “brothers” at the sake of their sisters, babies, mothers, fathers and the good, the smart and the future of many young men. . .

  2. Sandy says:

    Cute litte guy, my heart goes out to his family. I sure hope they catch the thugs that thought shooting a gun in a residential hood was cool. Enough already.

  3. Trina Itiswhatitis Siner says:

    “Community”…..That is harsh. We are a community- not all of us are thugs. We all don’t gang bang, run around with pistols and kill innocent children. Did it occur to you that maybe we are just as in the dark as you? That mentality you are describing is so stereotypical. ENOUGH. Enough labeling and enough putting down an ENTIRE COMMUNITY for what a small group of people did. SMH- SHAME ON YOU!

    1. Dave says:

      Amen Trina. The vile that gets posted on this site by trolls is horrendous, and thank god for the mediator who takes down the worst of them. AND NO your 1st. Amend. rights only apply with regard to government AND NOT a private entity such as WCCO, trolls, so keep wishing! It’s going to take each and every one of us in North to stop this. There are many avenues to take, you just have to choose one that works for you the best and do it daily Trina and never give up.

      1. daves got a plan says:

        Lighten up there Dave.

        1. Dave says:

          There is going to be a day when others ask, “how did North do it?” I’ll give you a hint, there is no “lightening up”. Power, money, and influence RULE our country sonny!

          1. daves got a plan says:

            So Daves going to use his power, money and influence to change North? This is going to be fun to watch.

      2. Kevin says:

        Oh dave your such a salad tossing castarated liberal…..

    2. jody says:

      No, not all of you are thugs and gang-bangers. Only 90% of you are.

  4. Carl says:

    i am very sorry for the family of this child. but carrying pistols doesn’t kill anyone.Guns don’t kill people people do. This not a gun control issue it is an issue of children not being tought about being responsible for their actions

  5. Dave says:

    We have another scholar in our midst! Jody, let me make my point as clear as I can for you so you don’t get confused. Your idealism and attitudes need to be publicly shunned, and you really just need to be humiliated, it will be good for you. Going forward dear Jody, think before you speak as you’ll be doing all of us a favor, including yourself.

    1. Kevin says:

      A little “Hitler” sounding there oh casterated one…..you drinking too much caffine? Or maybe your male lover is not letting you play “Bill Clinton”…..either way….Im glad you like me…cause I sure do like you davie…..

  6. RIII says:

    Condolences to the family and friends of the family. I hope someone with a backbone turns in the person that fired the shot at the house. Until the residents of North Minneapolis are willing to work hard to make it a better place to live it will only be a photo opportunity for the Mayor and Governor when tragedies like this occur.

  7. Darren says:

    Where is Terrell Mayes Sr? Haven’t heard a thing from the father?

    Condolences to all involved.

    To bad this will never stop.

    1. Darren says:

      Go MADD DADS. You have my utmost Respect!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. Trina Itiswhatitis Siner says:

    Jody and people alike are purely futile for mankind. Start with the man (or whatever you are) in the mirror because you clearly have issues of your own you need dealing with! Let this mother grieve over this TERRIBLE loss- you are in my prayers. The north side will be fine, we have overcome hurdles in the past and will do the same again.

    1. keep your kids safe says:

      What mother puts her kids in that situation? Where is the father?

  9. Kevin says:

    Hmmmmm….there have been numerous deaths involving youth in MN the past couple years. Funny Gov googy eyes has not been to one of them! Is there an election coming up in the near futrue? Was Gov goofy wearing his quanza outfit?