Friends and family paid their final respects Wednesday to Marvin Gilkes, who was shot last week while he was riding the Q111 bus in Jamaica when a gunman opened fire at passengers.
More than a hundred mourners packed the J. Foster Phillips Funeral Home in St. Albans to remember the 36-year-old Trinidadian native who moved to Rochdale Village last year after getting married to his longtime girlfriend Alisia Gilkes.
The widow sat quietly through the service with her two sons, Randy and Christopher, as friends and family spoke highly of her husband and said they would work to keep his legacy alive.
“We have to love one another because we cannot know what will happen,” said his aunt. Roselyn Gilkes.
Several people who knew Gilkes and his wife spoke and offered support. The NYPD also showed its appreciation for the slain man, who was a police officer in Trinidad for 16 years, with a bagpiper playing before the service started.
Police contend Damel Burton, 34, of the Baisley Houses, killed Gilkes and shot Gilkes in the back of the head and also shot Jajuan Lipsey in the face while they were riding in the back of the bus Friday. Gilkes, who studied nursing at Queensboro Community College, was killed at the scene while Lipsey survived.
Burton allegedly killed Keith Murrell, the 18-year-old son of his girlfriend, hours before he boarded the bus inside the apartment building where he, Murrell and his girlfriend lived, according to investigators.
The suspected shooter, who was recently released from prison after serving a seven-year sentence for an armed robbery conviction, has been held without bail, the DA’s office said.
Many of Gilkes’s friends, who said they were still in shock that he was killed so randomly, noted that he had worked hard to provide for his wife and stepchildren. The Rev. Lois Stewart, who presided over the service, told mourners not to be sad over their loss but to celebrate the joy that Gilkes gave during his life.
“We look to the lord,” she said. “Lord, we look to you for your strength and comfort,” she said.
Gilkes was scheduled to be buried in Trinidad over the weekend.
Reach reporter Ivan Pereira by e-mail at ipereira@c
©2011 Community News Group
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