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NY Knicks Player to Pay for Funeral of 1-Yr-Old Shooting Victim

Fort Greene basketball player Taj Gibson will cover the cost of the funeral and the wake for Davell Gardner Jnr
Taj Gibson. Photo: SusanLesch for Wikimedia.

New York Knicks player Taj Gibson will pay for the funeral and wake of 1-year-old Davell Gardner Jnr, who was shot at a family cookout at Raymond Bush Playground on July 12, Brooklyn Paper reported.

The Fort Greene native is paying out-of-pocket to cover costs for the Gardner family for both memorials and his charitable foundation, Taj Gibson Foundation, is providing the family with anything they need as they mourn their son's death, a member of the foundation said.

Geo Miller, Gibson's childhood friend who helps to run the foundation, said they were not involved with the funeral, but would be in attendance. "We just took care of what the family wanted," he said.

The foundation runs programs for underserved youth in Brooklyn and Miller said Gibson made a number of efforts to give back to his community, including organizing a Cease Fire Peace Walk through Bed-Stuy last weekend.

On July 14, more than 100 people attended a vigil for Gardner calling for unity and a stop to the shootings that have plagued the neighborhood in recent weeks. On the night Gardner was killed, there were 11 other shootings in Brooklyn. There have still been no arrests in connection to Gardner's murder.

There has been a large community response to the recent increase in violence in Brooklyn, with anti-violence groups organizing marches and vigils in multiple neighborhoods. Mayor Bill de Blasio has also launched a new anti-violence initiative that will increase support services and police presence in areas plagued by gun violence.

On July 26, there will be a wake for Davell at 1 Troy Avenue in Crown Heights between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. His funeral will be held at Pleasant Grove Baptist Church on 1927 Fulton St in Weeksville on July 27, at 11 a.m.