Local News

Mourners wear pink to remember man shot at Raleigh party

Posted August 20, 2016

— Several hundred mourners gathered Saturday at a funeral service to remember the life of a man shot and killed leaving a party at a Raleigh home earlier this month.

Everybody at the funeral wore pink to remember the favorite color of 20-year-old Kouren-Rodney Bernard Thomas.

“We’re rocking the pink for you. We love you,” said Thomas’ older brother, Kellen Crosby.

Thomas was also known for wearing mismatched socks and almost everybody called him Koury.

“Koury wasn’t no gangbanger, wasn’t a street thug robbing and selling drugs. Koury wasn’t that type of kid. He wasn’t the type of kid if you saw him coming, you had to clutch your purse,” said Crosby.

Thomas was shot at about 2:30 a.m. on Aug. 7 after leaving a party at a home on Single Leaf Lane.

Police said Chad Copley, 39, fired a shotgun from inside his garage, striking Thomas, who was outside.

Copley had called 911 saying “hoodlums” were vandalizing his neighborhood. He said he was acting in self-defense but an attorney for Thomas’ family said there is no evidence Thomas was armed.

Copley has been charged with murder.

“We lost someone very special to us and nobody will ever feel our pain how we feel it,” Crosby said.

The weight of the loss kept Thomas’ mother, Simone Butler-Thomas, from walking up on the stage Saturday afternoon, but she took the microphone and spoke about how funny her son was and how he and his buddies never went hungry.

“They ate me out of house and home,” she said.

A neighbor spoke of Thomas’ huge smile and an aunt remembered his bear hugs.

After the service at Imago Dei Church, everybody stood in the parking lot to release pink and white balloons.

On Thursday, the McDonald’s restaurant where Thomas used to work collected donations for the family and half of all proceeds from sales were donated to pay for funeral expenses.


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  • Pete Knowles Aug 21, 2016
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    Roger Chance, there is no evidence of anyone "reeking havoc". The only statement in which this term was used, was by the man that took a life. His imagined fear and seemingly paranoid vision, coupled with his obvious need to be "locked and loaded", caused this tragic event and not the young man that lost his life.

  • Craig Elliott Aug 21, 2016
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    You are right. Copley was way outside the law when he killed Thomas and Thomas did nothing to justify Copley's actions.

  • Kristin Byrne Aug 21, 2016
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    He was at a house party. I went to plenty of those when I was his age. Never got shot.

    He also wasn't wreaking havoc in the neighborhood. Everyone other than the guy who shot him said he was walking to his car.

  • John White Aug 20, 2016
    user avatar

    From all the stories this was a good kid that did not deserve this. Not that any kid ever deserves to be killed. The older man in the story needs to be kept in jail and never get out. Bad enough to shot a gun towards people but to do it from with a building out of a window? Can we say coward?

  • Clarence Drumgoole Aug 20, 2016
    user avatar

    so what you saying (2) wrongs = death, end of story? some comments should be kept to ones self!

  • Craig Elliott Aug 20, 2016
    user avatar

    From all reports so far, Copley didn't pursue Thomas, Thomas was in front of Copley's garage. Copley (apparently) had no justification in killing Thomas, but Thomas had (apparently) no good reason to be where he was.