Yvette Williams' funeral started off with a prayer.
The nearly 200 people who attended Tuesday came with mixed emotions and questions, but crowded around the 15-year-old's pink casket to praise God and celebrate the teenager's life.
“We may not understand everything today, but we will,” the prayer ended.
Williams was shot and killed by two Rock Hill police officers after police say she robbed a small grocery store at gunpoint last Thursday afternoon on East Main Street. Because Rock Hill police were involved in the shooting, the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division is investigating.
When Williams' loved ones filled all the pews inside the small church on Annafrel Street, friends of the family folded out metal chairs in the aisles, doorway and corridor.
Still, many stood.
Some stood outside.
Rev. Seth Crosby of TLC Ministries gave the eulogy. He reminded guests that in the middle of the word “life,” there is the word “if.”
“A lot of us have that question on our minds today,” Crosby said.
Friends of the family Tuesday remembered Williams as a girl who always smiled, walked on her tiptoes and never left her little brother's side.
One neighbor said Williams would sneak over and stay with her, like she was a part of the family.
“She was just like a daughter to me,” said neighbor Jamie Irby.
Kim Hinton, a family friend for more than 20 years, spoke on behalf of the Sunset Park community, where Williams lived with her mother, stepfather and two brothers. Hinton told funeral guests to “get on your knees and pray for the Williams family.”
“I prayed about this day all night long,” Hinton said outside before the service. “I'm hoping to get through it.”