'Community stuck together' as hundreds gathered for funeral of Arbrie Anthony

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Dozens of family, friends, neighbors and community members gathered around the Anthony family at Hillcrest Memorial Park to say their final goodbye to Arbrie Anthony, a little over a week since she was shot and killed outside her home.

As reality began to set in, mourners cried out. Following the ceremony, some approached the pink and purple casket for their final goodbyes. It featured pictures of Arbrie and TikTok logos, to represent her love for the social media app.

Friends, family and community members mourn Arbrie Anthony at her funeral at Hillcrest Memorial Park on Wednesday. The 8-year-old died in a drive-by shooting on Jan. 8.
Friends, family and community members mourn Arbrie Anthony at her funeral at Hillcrest Memorial Park on Wednesday. The 8-year-old died in a drive-by shooting on Jan. 8.

Arbrie’s cousin Candice Tanskley said it meant a lot for the family to see so many people rally and support them through this difficult time.

“Everybody united together because of what happened to little Arbrie. It’s a sad situation as well but I like how everyone came together. I like how the community stuck together,” Tanskley said. “I like how family and friends can gather together in a time of need.”

Arbrie Anthony’s cousin Candice Tanskley said it meant a lot for the family to see so many people rally and support them through this difficult time.
Arbrie Anthony’s cousin Candice Tanskley said it meant a lot for the family to see so many people rally and support them through this difficult time.

She said she was also glad Arbrie's mother, Teausha Tanskley, was able to say goodbye in person. Arrangements were made with The Metro Transitional Center, a minimum security prison for adult women in Atlanta, for Teausha to be present.

“Everything was set up beautifully, everything looked beautiful and I’m glad she was able to see that in person,” Candice Tanskley said.

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Family member Victoria Nero said it’s sad that they had to get together for something that shouldn’t have happened in the first place but was appreciative and overwhelmed by the support the Augusta community has shown her family since the shooting.

Nero said she was already at the hospital the night of Jan. 8 because her grandson had been bitten by a dog when she saw someone running down the hall carrying Arbrie. She said she hopes the gun violence stops.

“It’s very sad because (people) won’t put the guns down. They are not teaching our children the right things, we let them get away from us, they get into the system and we lose them,” Nero said. “We have to take a stand. We need to get out here and march and get our kids back because we are losing them day by day. I have a 12-year-old that I’m raising, I’m so scared for him to let him go and do different things.”

Tanskley said her cousin Arbrie loved to dance and especially loved TikTok. She also enjoyed playing outside and petting the horses that would go through the neighborhood. A horse, Patches, was also shot and killed in the drive-by shooting on Jan. 8.

“We are going to keep her memory alive by allowing the kids to play outside, and the horses continue to come through for the kids to pet and play because she enjoyed outside,” she said.

Setting up the funeral

Pallbearers carry Arbrie Anthony's casket Wednesday at Hillcrest Memorial Park. It was decorated with pink and purple and images of the 8-year-old and her favorite things.
Pallbearers carry Arbrie Anthony's casket Wednesday at Hillcrest Memorial Park. It was decorated with pink and purple and images of the 8-year-old and her favorite things.

Helena Guess has been a mortician for close to 30 years and said Arbrie’s funeral will be one she will remember for a long time.

“This has been one (funeral) that will always be etched in my memory,” she said. “We cannot make sense of this. There is nothing we can say to make this make sense to anyone.”

Guess is the owner of Celebration of Life Funeral Home. She said the family approached them to do Arbrie’s funeral, and she was more than willing to help the family out in remembering and honoring the 8-year-old.

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Eight-year-old Arbrie Anthony was shot and killed while playing outside her home on Third Avenue the night of Jan. 8, 2022.
Eight-year-old Arbrie Anthony was shot and killed while playing outside her home on Third Avenue the night of Jan. 8, 2022.

“Nobody wants to have to perform a service just like this. The needless gun violence that we are experiencing now in this city, as well as all over the country, no mortician ever wants hear a call about an innocent baby that has lost their live to gun violence,” Guess said. “The father and mother were both really appreciative, and I think we gave them a celebration that they’ll remember. It’s the least we could have done.”

A suspect has been arrested and charged in Arbrie’s death. Antoine Redfield, 21, has been charged with murder. On Wednesday, an hour before the funeral, District Attorney Jared Williams released a statement explaining why previous charges against Redfield related to a fatal 2019 shooting had been dropped.

Williams was in attendance at the funeral to show support to the family.

This article originally appeared on Augusta Chronicle: Augusta gathers to celebrate life of 8-year-old girl killed in shooting

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