Local group collecting donations to cover funeral costs of slain teen

The Elkhart Advocates for Peace and Justice are holding a fundraiser to help an Elkhart mother pay for the burial and funeral of her son, who was shot in Elkhart last week.
Posted on Dec. 29, 2013 at 12:00 a.m. | Updated on Dec. 29, 2013 at 4:40 p.m.

ELKHART — A local philanthropic group is collecting donations to help an Elkhart mother pay for her son’s funeral expenses after he was shot and killed on the south side of Elkhart last week.

Devonte Patrick, 18, died Monday afternoon, Dec. 23, after he was shot in the parking lot of Prairie Street Mennonite Church. Elkhart police are investigating and have not made an arrest, but they have said that the shooting was not a random act.

Patrick’s mother, Angela Tanner, arranged the visitation and funeral service with Cobb Funeral Home. The total cost of the funeral service with an hour of visitation, the embalming and burial in Rice Cemetery is $6,122, even after the funeral home cut its charges to help the family.

Tanner didn’t have the money saved up to cover the unexpected price of burying her son.

“I just couldn’t live with myself not to have (a funeral),” Tanner said. “It would mean everything.”

Enter the Elkhart Advocates for Peace and Justice. The organization has stepped up and is collecting donations for Tanner.

Jason Moreno, a member of EAPJ, set up a page on YouCaring.com, a free online fund-raising web site, and is asking community members to pitch in whatever they can. He said Prairie Street Mennonite Church collected $462 offline.

“This is a city issue, and how we respond as a city says a lot about us,” Moreno said in a Facebook post. He said that he wants to “showcase the goodness in the city as opposed to the negative.”

If the money is collected by 8 a.m. Monday, Dec. 30, the burial will be able to follow the planned funeral service in Elkhart. Roosevelt Cobb, funeral director at Cobb Funeral Home, said the visitation and funeral service will still happen as scheduled even if the money isn’t collected prior, but that he can’t arrange the burial if the cemetery’s burial fees aren’t paid first.

“It’s very unfortunate. I’m doing what I can to help,” Cobb said. “Anything else the public can do to help would be greatly appreciated.”

To donate, visit www.YouCaring.com and search for “Angela Tanner.”

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