HOUSTON (KTRK) --In the altar of Good Hope Missionary Baptist Church was a casket covered in pink, white and purple flowers, flanked by more large floral arrangements.
Beside those, pictures of a little girl with a violin, wearing glasses and a smile that could melt hearts.
It was the funeral for 8-year-old De'Maree Adkins, an elementary school student who was shot and killed one week ago. She had been asleep in the back of her mother's car. There was a collision with another vehicle off the south beltway.
Another car drove up and fired a gun at the family's car, striking De Marre. She died in her mother's arms at the scene.
Houston police worked the murder case round the clock. This week, a 19-year-old alleged gang member was arrested and charged in her death. He remains jailed on a $500,000 bond.
RELATED: Mugshot released of suspect in 8-year-old's killing
Saturday, the sanctuary where the funeral service was held was filled to overflowing. Many mourners had never met De Marre or her family, but were touched and troubled that so bright a life could be ended by violence.
"She was an angel, and she was sent to bring us together," said one pastor.
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De Marre played the violin at her school and some of her classmates read one of the Psalms. Mayor Sylvester Turner declared this "De Maree Adkins Day," and the police chief addressed her grieving parents.
"I want to thank you,' said Chief Art Acevedo, "because though you had this precious angel for only eight years, you gave her more love than many children get in a lifetime."
It was a reminder, the pastor said, that life should never be taken for granted, not even by a young child.