Local News

Mourners wear pink to remember man shot at Raleigh party

Posted August 20, 2016 6:26 p.m. EDT

— 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.