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Mourners Bid Tearful Farewell to Bed-Stuy Murder Victim Chynna Battle

 Mourners carry Chynna Battle's casket out of Full Gospel Tabernacle.
Mourners carry Chynna Battle's casket out of Full Gospel Tabernacle.
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DNAinfo/Noah Hurowitz

BROOKLYN — Hundreds of mourners packed an East New York church Friday to bid a tearful farewell to Chynna Battle, a young mom who was murdered last week in a shooting police say was aimed at someone else.

Family members remembered Battle, 21, as a feisty, outspoken young woman who was dedicated to her 3-year-old, Amelia, and was making plans to either go back to school or join the military.

“She just had a big bark, but it was bigger than her bite,” said Battle’s sister, Fallon Brown. “It breaks my heart that my sister is sitting down there in the casket at 21 years old.”

Battle's friends and relatives lined up before 9 a.m. at Full Gospel Tabernacle at 23 Louisiana Ave. for the viewing, and filed into the church to take a last look at their fallen loved one, who was laid out in a bright white double-breasted pantsuit with brass buttons.

Little Amelia, wearing a yellow dress with a frilly white skirt and a white bow fixed to her braids, smiled and squirmed in her father’s lap and was passed between relatives throughout the service. Her father, Elijah St. Omer, 19, said Amelia knew of her mother’s death and said she was taking it OK, although he said she had been asking for her mom in the days since the shooting.


READ MORE: Police Offer $10,000 for Info on Bed-Stuy Double Murder

Battle, 21, died July 12 after gunmen opened fire on the crowd she was standing with inside the courtyard of 760 Gates Ave., near Stuyvesant Avenue. The gunfire also killed Shaqwanda "Q" Staley, 29, who grew up nearby and was hanging out in the courtyard that night. Like Battle, Staley was the mother of a young daughter, and left behind a 9-year-old girl, friends said.

Investigators believe neither woman was an intended target of the shooting, and said the attack may have been aimed at a member of the crowd in retaliation for an earlier shooting in May, according to NYPD Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce.

Surveillance footage of the entrance to the courtyard showed four men entering just before gunfire broke out, and police believe two of the men were shooters, Boyce told reporters at an unrelated press conference Monday.

No arrests have been made in the case, but speaker after speaker at the service implored members of the community to come forward with any information about the killers. One friend of Battle, a man only identified as Taylor, said he drove 13 hours from Atlanta for the service, and was sick of coming back to New York for funerals.

“If you wanna shoot so much, go join the Army, go to a gun range,” he said. “Two little girls miss their mothers right now. Next time I come up here I want it to be for a birthday or a baby shower.”

Community activist Tony Herbert seconded the call for people to come forward.

“I’m mad as hell right now,” Herbert said. “You got a responsibility. You can cry your crocodile tears, but when it’s all said and done, somebody gotta step up and say ‘I know who did this.’ Because if you remain silent, you’re just as guilty as the person who pulled the trigger.”

The NYPD is are currently offering a $10,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or people responsible for the shooting. Anyone with information is asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS. The public can also submit tips on the website.