KARE 11 viewer helping family bury son

8:35 PM, Dec 8, 2012   |    comments
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Gianni Gossitt

MINNEAPOLIS - A Minneapolis family was struggling to find a way to lay to rest a loved one shot and killed nearly a month ago.

That is until a KARE 11 viewer came forward after the story aired Saturday night, agreeing to cover the burial costs for 22-year-old Gianni Gossitt.  The Lakeville woman handed a check over to the pastor of True Vine Baptist Church Saturday night.

The Gossitt's haven't decorated much for Christmas.

21-year-old Cheryl Gossitt said, "My brother usually was the one who put the decorations and stuff up, and all the Christmas lights.  We have a tree but the lights don't work."

Gianni Gossitt was shot and killed on November 18th in an alley near 39th and Dupont Avenue North.

She said there are, "No leads, no names, no nothing."

No one expects someone they love to be killed.

Gossitt described her brother.  "He was just a funny guy, friendly loving kind. His smile was just amazing."

The Gossitt's don't have the money to bury him.  Three of his seven siblings gathered at their mom's home Saturday afternoon to talk to KARE 11 because their mother, Sandra, was working to make up for days lost for the funeral.

Cheryle Gossitt said, "She's short on rent money."

County funds, about 2,000 dollars, paid for the funeral.

The family expected help from the Minnesota Crime Victims Reparations Fund to pay for the burial.

Helen Williams is helping the Gossitt's and has won an 11 Who Care award for helping other families like them.  Williams said, "We had a service last Friday with the intention of internment at Crystal Lake [Cemetery].  Unfortunately we got a call late Thursday evening that the application before the board was pending."

A decision not expected until next Thursday. The grave at Crystal Lake Cemetery remains dug and open.

Because the family doesn't have any money to bury Gianni, Crescent Tide Funerals has his body in cold storage.

Williams said in her six years of helping families cover funeral and burial costs, she has never had to send a body back to cold storage.

Williams was worried because the funeral home was told by a cemetery employee that the grave would be filled in on Monday if Gianni was not buried and the bill paid.

But the cemetery manager said the funeral home was given wrong information.

Manager Ray Gummer said while it is a safety risk to keep the grave open, it is not cemetery policy to fill it in if the family is still gathering funds.

(Copyright 2012 by KARE. All Rights Reserved.)

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