Funeral services were held Saturday morning for Andy Zeng, the slain 16-year-old who was found with a gunshot wound to the head this month at a home in The City’s Silver Terrace neighborhood.
Family, friends, schoolmates and teachers gathered around the open casket at the service at Halsted N. Gray-Carew and English in the Tenderloin, where Buddhist prayer songs and remembrance speeches for the teen went on for two hours. Family members declined to speak with members of the media, who were allowed to view the service from a front room outside the memorial service.
“This is the only day for them to see Andy before he is cremated,” said Francis Chan, a social worker representing the Zeng family on behalf of the San Francisco Community Response Network. “On one hand, [mourners] have to release emotion, but if they cry too much, [Andy] will be distracted and pulled back into this world [according to Buddhist tradition].”
Board of Supervisors President David Chiu attended the first part of the memorial, and said The City shares in the Zeng family’s tragedy.
“We have to make sure in the future we don’t lose our brothers and sisters again in this way,” Chiu said.
Zeng’s schoolmates at Thurgood Marshall Academic High School, still reeling from the sheer shock of the incident, said he was a jovial kid in class and everyone at school knew him.
“It’s confusing,” said Jenny Vigil, a 16-year-old classmate. “It was something we couldn’t believe could happen all of a sudden.”