Sorrow and Anger
About 11:30 p.m. last Saturday the three victims — Dashon Harvey, 20; Iofemi Hightower, 20; and Mr. Aeriel — were hanging out at the Mount Vernon School in the Ivy Hill neighborhood. With them was Natasha Aeriel, 19, Mr. Aeriel’s sister.
Mr. Harvey and the Aeriels were students at Delaware State University, and Ms. Hightower was planning to join them in the fall.
They were confronted by several attackers, and Mr. Harvey, Ms. Hightower and Mr. Aeriel were lined up against a low wall behind the school, forced to kneel and shot in the head. Ms. Aeriel was also shot, but survived.
The authorities have said robbery appeared to be the motive. Three suspects — two 15-year-olds and a 28-year-old construction worker from Peru — have been arrested. The police are looking for at least two more people, one of them a teenager.
On Saturday, hundreds of people attended each funeral, including about 80 students and 10 administrators from Delaware State. Some mourners went from one funeral to another, in a numbing string of tears, remembrances and gospel songs.
Ernest Nunnally, 52, walked toward Mr. Harvey’s funeral at Metropolitan Baptist Church, the program from Ms. Hightower’s service at Grace Temple Baptist Church rolled up in his hands. He said he wanted to pay his respects to all three victims, though he knew none of them.
“It could be any of our children,” said Mr. Nunnally, who grew up in Newark.
Mr. Harvey’s funeral was the first of the day. Outside the church, a man in a top hat sat atop a two-horse carriage, waiting to lead the coffin to Evergreen Cemetery in nearby Hillside. It was a final stylish touch for a stylish young man. Mr. Harvey had a bold fashion sense, once shaving his hair into a mohawk and regularly donning pastel colors or pink and green tennis shoes.
“He wasn’t the life of the party,” Mr. Harvey’s mother, Judy Wade, said after his wake on Friday. “He was the party.”