By Jeffrey Smith, The News On 6
SAPULPA, OK -- Hundreds of people are said goodbye Saturday to a murdered high school freshman.
Funeral services were held Saturday afternoon for Memorial High School student Jacob Barnes. The 16-year-old was shot to death last week after he stepped off a Tulsa school bus.
Barnes is remembered by friends and family as an outgoing teenager with a photogenic smile, and as a natural leader and a strong student.
More than 500 people attended the funeral service, held at Calvary Baptist Church in Sapulpa. Dozens of mourners had to sit in the main lobby and friends and classmates stood against the walls.
"Everybody liked him. He made friends with everybody. It doesn't matter who you was, you was friends with him," said Carmecia Roberson, Jacob Barnes' cousin.
Barnes was shot in the head, back and neck moments after stepping off a school bus in the area of 33rd and North Lansing. He later died at a Tulsa hospital. Tulsa police detectives say the shooting was gang-related.
Two 16-year-old cousins are in custody in connection to the death of Jacob Barnes.
"I knew this was a boy who would become a man and go someplace. I didn't know he was going to heaven," said Deborah Hayes, Jacob Barnes' teacher.
Some of Barnes' friends and classmates wore t-shirts with personal messages. Many friends say they'll never forget his smile.
"Whenever he entered the room and he smiled, that smile just had your day, it made your day, just his smile," said Christina Lett, Jacob Barnes' friend.
Teachers say Jacob Barnes was a gifted student at Memorial High School. He took a test in English class days before his death.
"It was his last test. He got a 100 percent. In fact, his overall grade in my class, final grade, was a 96," said Deborah Hayes, Jacob Barnes' teacher.
Family and friends were overcome with emotion at the service. Barnes' cousin says she's struggling with her grief.
"I'm just hurt. It's never going to be same again," said Carmecia Roberson, Jacob Barnes' cousin.
Roberson says it just doesn't make sense that a young man like Jacob, could be gunned down in the prime of his life, walking to his mother's house.
Jacob's family and friends gathered for a candlelight vigil in his honor. The vigil was held at Hawthorne Park.