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Community says goodbye to three-year-old killed by stray bullet

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ZACHARY - The Baton Rouge community laid to rest a toddler whose life was cut short this month when a stray bullet pierced his bedroom window and killed him while he was sleeping.

Funeral services for 3-year-old Devin Page Jr. were held at New Pilgrim Baptist Church on Saturday, a little more than a week after he was killed, and the service was paid for by former NBA superstar and LSU Tiger Shaquille O'Neal.

"Until the bullet hits your house or comes through your window... Then you will be able to understand," community activist Keon Preston said.

Preston was one of several to speak during Devin's funeral.

"Until we can fix 3-year-olds getting shot in their bed, we ain't doing nothing," said Eugene Collins, Baton Rouge NAACP leader.

Collins delivered his message about crime to the funeral attendants.

"Over the years, I've helped to carry too many caskets out of churches full of Black men. Most of them weren't killed by cops, but they were killed by people who look like me," Collins said.

Loved ones said their last goodbyes in a church filled with green, Devin's favorite color. Toy trucks were lined next to the casket, his favorite toys.

Devin's grandmother, an evangelist, took to the pulpit.

"His death will not be in vain. God doesn't start something he doesn't finish. And we're going to finish strong," Cathy Toliver said.

Devin's father was too overcome with grief to speak, but Devin's mother had a message for those who killed her son.

"I don't know who did it. I don't know who's connected to anything. But I won't rest until my son gets justice," Tye Toliver said.

Devin's body was taken to the Southern Memorial Gardens in Baton Rouge, where bikers took over the burial. There they laid the boy to rest as they would one of their own, burning out tires in the cemetery.

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