Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

At Hydra Lacy Jr.'s funeral, minister calls on community to spread 'seeds of peace'

ST. PETERSBURG — The Rev. Manuel Sykes had an important message Saturday for the family of Hydra Lacy Jr.

The pastor said that in recent days, he's been approached by many people in the community.

"They said to me, 'Rev. Sykes … everybody out there is not blaming the family."

Sykes said people don't want family members to feel like they are alone.

On Saturday, they weren't.

Several hundred people gathered with friends and relatives at Sykes' church, Bethel Community Baptist, for the somber funeral service for Lacy, the fugitive who shot and killed two St. Petersburg police officers and injured a deputy U.S. marshal on Jan. 24 and died in the confrontation.

They came to say goodbye. They came to make peace. They came to support the family.

"We're here today because an intersection — an intersection of lives," said Sykes, who recently was elected president of the St. Petersburg branch of the NAACP. "It doesn't matter who had the right of way. Everybody got hurt."

Sykes told the St. Petersburg Times earlier this week that giving the eulogy for Lacy, 39, would be one of the most difficult and controversial tasks he's had to do.

At the service, Sykes encouraged people to plant seeds of peace in the wake of a tragedy that has gripped the community.

Sykes said good things can come out of bad situations.

He reminded those at the funeral of when the city came together in 2009 after the murder of 8-year-old Paris Whitehead-Hamilton, an innocent victim caught in the middle of gang violence.

He noted how the same thing happened across the country after the recent shooting tragedy in Arizona, and around the world after Hurricane Katrina and the massive earthquake in Haiti.

Sykes told the mourners it would be up to them to determine the outcome of this situation.

"It becomes a moment this community can use to become better," he said. "Whatever you plant, expect it to come up."

During the service, a line of mourners walked solemnly past Lacy's blue casket. Many rose to their feet when a choir sang, Nobody Greater and He Saw the Best in Me. Ministers quoted scripture.

Among those in attendance were senior city administrator Goliath Davis, Louis Muhammad of Mosque 95 Nation of Islam and Omali Yeshitela, founder of the International People's Democratic Uhuru Movement.

It did not appear that boxer Jeff Lacy, Hydra's brother, or Christine Lacy, his wife, were inside the church.

Local minister Watson Haynes spoke during the "reflections" portion of the service.

He told the family the Lord loved them and encouraged them to rely on their faith.

"Nothing can separate you from the love of God," he said.

Haynes and Davis said they attended because they know the family and wanted to support them.

"Funerals are for the living," Davis said, adding that he also attended the funeral for the slain officers. "You go to support the living."

Kameel Stanley can be reached at kstanley@sptimes.com or (727) 893-8643.

At Hydra Lacy Jr.'s funeral, minister calls on community to spread 'seeds of peace' 02/05/11 [Last modified: Saturday, February 5, 2011 10:28pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Tampa man crashes into parked cars, gate at the Islamic Society of Tampa Mosque

    Crime

    A Tampa man intentionally drove his pick-up truck into two parked vehicles before smashing through the locked gate of the Islamic Society of Tampa Mosque, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.

    Shaun H. Urwiler, 42, was arrested July 16 for intentionally driving his pick-up truck into two parked vehicles before smashing through the locked gate of the Islamic Society of Tampa Mosque, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office. [Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office]
  2. USF hoops to play at Indiana in November

    Blogs

    The USF men's basketball team is set to get an early test from a Big Ten powerhouse in non-conference play next season.

  3. Last steel beam marks construction milestone for Tom and Mary James' museum

    Growth

    ST. PETERSBURG — Tom and Mary James on Wednesday signed their names to the last steel beam framing the 105-ton stone mesa that will be built at the entrance of the museum that bears their name: the James Museum of Western and Wildlife Art.

    The topping-out ceremony of the James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art was held Wednesday morning in downtown St. Petersburg. Mary James (from left), husband Tom and Mayor Rick Kriseman signed the final beam before it was put into place. When finished, the $55 million museum at 100 Central Ave. will hold up to 500 pieces of the couple's 3,000-piece art collection. [Courtesy of James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art]
  4. Florida's school grades improve as educators get the hang of a new system

    Testing

    Following a trend, Florida's school grades showed strong gains in the third year after the state changed its grading formula and the standardized tests that students take every year.

    After finding out earlier Wednesday that her school went from a low C to an A,  Bear Creek Elementary principal Willette Houston celebrates with her students in the YMCA After School program at the school in St. Petersburg. Houston is giving a high five to rising fifth grader Jonaven Viera. Rising 4th grader Jonathan Cafaro is in foreground with his back to camera. [CHERIE DIEZ   |   Times]
  5. Tampa Bay woman, 11-year-old boy had sex up to 20 times the year their baby was born, detectives say.

    Crime

    TAMPA — A woman sexually battered an 11-year-old Brandon boy, got pregnant and raised the baby for three years before a tip led to her arrest, Hillsborough County sheriff's officials said.

    Marissa Mowry, now 25,  had sex as many as 20 times in 2014 with a boy who was 11 when he impregnated her, Hillsborough County detectives allege. [Photo courtesy of Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office]