Family, friends say goodbye to boy allegedly shot by cousin - WNEM TV 5

Family, friends say goodbye to boy allegedly shot by cousin

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FLINT, MI (WNEM) - Friends and family gathered Thursday afternoon to say goodbye to an 11-year-old boy, allegedly shot by his cousin.

William Lee Coppage was allegedly shot by his cousin, 24-year-old Tovonte Jones.

Jones is facing murder charges in the shooting death of Coppage.

Nathaniel Mireles remembers his friend as being a really cool person. "He was cool. He was nice. He always helped me with my math homework," says Mireles.

Mireles and countless others gathered at the corner of Lippincott and Winans streets to celebrate the life of Coppage.

Nathaniel's father Tony Mireles says the scene was very emotional.

"It's hard. It's a child's death and it's just one of the hardest things that anybody has to go through." says Mireles.

Investigators initially believed the shooting was an accident. However, after reviewing the case, Genesee County prosecutor David Leyton has issued charges against Jones in the shooting death.

Jones is facing second degree murder and felony firearm charges.

The incident happened in the 1800 block Barks Street in Flint. That's near the intersection of Lapeer Road and Dort Highway.

At first, the shooting was called in as an accident. After further investigation by the prosecutor, authorities don't believe it was an accident.

"Anytime you have a person that's been killed and you can attribute that death to someone I think that's important especially in our line of work," Police Chief James Tolbert said.

Jones will be back in court at the end of the month. He is being held on a $250,000 bond. He could face a life sentence if he is convicted.

The Coppage family hasn't publicly commented on the incident. During the funeral, they thanked everyone for their countless acts of kindness.

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