Friends and family gathered Tuesday morning to say goodbye to a teen stabbed to death in Meriden.
The funeral was held for 15-year-old Deandre Felton inside the Apostolic Community Church on Center Street.
"He wouldn't let you give up," said Zack Flanders, of Meriden. "He'd always be pushing me and was nice to everyone."
On Sept. 21, Deandre, who was popular student and a talented football player, was stabbed on Kensington Avenue, right near the Meriden Mall and Mid-State Medical Center. Deandre tried to get to the hospital but died from his injuries.
"It's hard," said Diamond Grant, of Meriden. "He didn't deserve to die. He had big dreams."
Deandre's girlfriend told Eyewitness News she heard the two teens were "looking for trouble" the night of the fight.
Police have not said much about the case, but they did talk to a person of interest. According to Deandre's family, they we're told by detectives that the man questioned is in his 30s and that he told police he wasn't clear about what happened that night. No arrests have been made at this time.
"We want to make sure they get it right. It is such a high profile case," said Meriden Mayor Michael Rhode (D).
School officials gave students who attended Tuesday's funeral an excused absence to pay their respects. Close to 400 people including several students attended the two-hour service.
"I got an excused absence already to attend," Flanders said. "I want to comfort his brothers and family. I know he'd be there for me."
Deandre's family members are still waiting for answers.
"They talked to whoever this person of interest is and whatever will be done will be done," said Deandre's cousin, Michael Brown.
Another teen, 13-year-old Deshawn Jones, was also stabbed, but survived.
The Meriden Police Department is expected to step up efforts to get children and teens off the streets at night by enforcing a curfew ordinance.
Officials with the Meriden Police Department said they usually step up curfew patrols during the summer months, but in wake of the recent stabbing, the patrols will be stepped up once again. Children will be taken home by police and parents could get a ticket up to $90.
"There's a sense we really need to watch our kids," Rhode said.
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