MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Hundreds of people showed up to pay their respects to 5-year-old Nizzel George, who was shot and killed one week ago as he was sleeping on a couch at his grandmother’s house.

At the funeral, which was held at the Shiloh Temple, there was hope Tuesday of a new beginning in north Minneapolis.

Bishop Richard Howell Jr. asked what it will take to get from the darkness of night to the morning. Answering his question, he said it will take getting people to the polls to vote, getting foot patrols on the street and employment opportunities. He added it will also take prayer.

“The north side should not be known for violence,” he said. “The north side should be known for progress, for employment and for opportunity. So we want to erase that stereotype on the north side.”

Nizzel’s father, Cornelius, called for an end to violence.

“Stop killing kids. For all the young kids: go to school, get a job, find something positive to do,” Cornelius said.

WCCO’s Susie Jones Interviews Cornelius

Nizzel’s grandma, Desiree, recalled her little grandchild, who loved to swim.

“Beautiful smile, smart, wonderful and happy,” she said.

WCCO’s Susie Jones Interviews Desiree

The cries of Nizzel’s mother, Christina Banks, could be heard throughout the sanctuary. She spent most of the visitation and most of the funeral looking into the face of her son.

Don Samuels, of the Minneapolis City Council, spoke at the funeral about the day Nizzel died.

“What a sad day in the city of Minneapolis when a child, not even in pre-teens, is gunned down by another child,” he said.

Two juveniles have been charged in the case.

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