Dozens attend funeral for Danville teen shot, killed at high school graduation party

Tion Burton's funeral held Saturday


DANVILLE – Hours before the funeral, cars lined the streets outside Bible Way Cathedral as dozens upon dozens of people filed in to pay their last respects to 17-year-old Tion Burton.

"Before he was born, I knew him," said family friend Shelia Holmes. "He was always quiet and very mindful. I never heard him having any kind of trouble with anyone."

Two other people were shot along with Burton at the high school graduation party at Axton Lodge in Pittsylvania County last Sunday and a fourth person was hit by a car as people fled after shots rang out.

All three are recovering.

In Danville this week, three people were shot and killed; one Wednesday night and two Thursday night.

Some WSLS spoke to say that makes Burton's death even more tragic.

"They're innocent. So for this to happen to them, why?" family friend Akevia Warren asked. "For it to happen back to back, it really hurt us all. It didn't really give us the time to mourn one death."

All three victims were in their early 20s, emphasizing the importance of the city's ongoing effort to create more positive opportunities for young people.

"As a community, we need to come together and reach out to our young folks. We need to do things for them in the community," said family friend Julius Oliver.

"We're still working on trying to get something here for the youth to do so they don't have to hang out in the streets," Oliver continued.

At the City Council meeting Tuesday, Danville's police chief and city manager will present an update on the city's efforts to combat violent crime.

Those efforts, which include reaching out to youth, are part of a plan council members unveiled in December outlining their three priorities.

Crime was No. 1.

All four of this week's homicides remain under investigation.

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