PHOTOS: Scene where 6 children and 2 adults were found dead
Investigators say Dwayne Jackson was the first person David Conley killed in his rampage. Jackson's family was here for the goodbye his baby brother says they never fathomed.
"My mom, who is 79 years old, you have to understand the position she's in having to bury a child, a child that has been...he didn't get sick and die," Eric Jackson said. "He was murdered."
Murdered along with his five children, Dwayne Jr., Honesty, Jonah, Trinity, and Caleb, his wife Valerie, and her son Nathaniel Conley. Eric Jackson described his brother as a man who loved God, and his kids.
"This planet could not hold the love he had for his kids."
Hundreds filled the seats for the funeral. Many of them knew the children. Angela Alvarez's daughter was friends with Nathaniel Conley.
"It's very close to home. All the kids went to school together. Most of them have been to school since kindergarten, all their elementary years, and now middle school. So yeah, it's pretty difficult," Alvarez said.
Phillip Beavers Jr. played football with Nathaniel, the aspiring NFL athlete.
"He never messed with anybody. He never showed any problems. He was a good kid, a good football player."
But many of the people here today never knew them until tragedy struck.
"My heart goes out to the mother of this daughter, not only losing her daughter, but losing her six grandbabies," said Minister Mattie Steward. "It's real touching to me because I'm a mother and a grandmother."
As the bodies make their way to Minnesota to be buried, Dwayne Jackson's family says there's only one way to get through this.
"A lot of prayer," Eric Jackson explained.
The owner of Allen Dave Funeral Home says he's used his own money to cover the expenses for the funeral so far. Follow this link to help offset some of those costs.
David Conley is facing capital murder charges for the killings.
Natalie Conley, the surviving sibling, released the following statement for the funeral:
- "We're all here today for all different reasons, but we are all here to honor the same family that all has in some way touched each and everyone of us. But because today is not about how they died but today is about sharing all of the special moments we all shared together.
Valerie Conley-Jackson, also known as my mother. She wasn't the perfect mother but who is perfect at all? She didn't need to be perfect to be a good mom, because she loved all of us and made sure we all knew it. She was always there when you needed to talk, rant or just needed hug and I am very grateful that she was in my life, and that I was able to call her "Mom". She had a great sense of humor and made us all laugh along with all of my other siblings especially Dwayne Jackson Jr. He was one of the most funny people you could meet, he could make you laugh at anytime and never failed to bring positivity to any given situation. And he was always able to problem solve on his own and I thought that was amazing just because of his age.
Dwayne was what I always called a mini me because he was so much alike me when I was his age, But especially Honesty. Honesty was for sure a mini me she was just like her big sister, for example back when I was 11 I hated dresses, or anything close to girly which was just the complete opposite of Trinity. Trinity was the girliest girl there ever was and she always talked about how excited she was to become my age so she could wear clothes that looked just like
her big sisters. Trinity. Which stood for three because she was the third girl and last girl, and I am so proud that she was the last girl that my mom had. Trinity was the youngest girl but Jonah was the youngest of all. Jonah was the most loving thing you could ever meet, he was the biggest cuddle bug. from the moment you met him you were filled with nothing but love for him, he might've been shy at first but as soon he got to know you,he gave you nothing but hugs and kisses filled with giggles and laughter. And of course Jonah was known for his memorable sigh which he did whenever he got in trouble or he had to do something he didn't like, everytime he did this sigh you just couldn't help but to laugh because it was just so cute. But nobody could ever forget how cute Caleb was especially with that cheesy smile. Caleb was always known for being the computer nerd and always having his chromebook on him. But Nate of course also had the best smile, he had the whitest teeth and the best dimples and when he smiled, he was truly smiling there was no faking it. Nathaniel Nicholas and Natalie Nicole my mom made our names mean "a gift from god". Which Nate was along with the rest of my siblings. Lastly Dwayne Jackson Sr. I personally didn't know him to well but I do know for a fact that he loved his kids with all his heart and would've done absolutely anything for not only my siblings but
also my mom. They died tragically but they came into the world as a family and left as a family and I know that they're all together as a family and it's the way they would of wanted it."