Gunfire erupted Tuesday afternoon inside the New Song Worship & Arts Center in Sandtown-Winchester as family and friends gathered to eat and remember Antonio Addison, a 22-year-old gunned down in West Baltimore last month.
While others filled plates with barbecue, pasta salad and deviled eggs, police said, Addison's brother pulled out a gun and shot their father during the post-funeral meal.
The two men had argued over an obituary written by a family member for Addison, police said. The brother's name was omitted, said his grandfather, Charles Addison.
The grandfather leaned against a patrol car, his white shirt and pants splattered with blood.
"It's not mine," he said as he smoked a Newport cigarette. "This place was full of children. They ran out the back and I ran out the front."
The 47-year-old father was shot in the stomach and was expected to survive, police said. His 26-year-old son was taken into custody.
The shooting happened inside the vestibule of the tall, tan building at Gold and North Calhoun streets, police said. Dozens of officers and detectives, along with the police commissioner and deputy commissioner, converged on the church as attendees, dressed in white, watched from the street.
Many in the crowd wore white shirts memorializing Addison with "R.I.P." and "Gone but not forgotten." Sunglasses lay trampled in the parking lot.
Blood stained the white pants and shirt of a woman who stood before the yellow crime tape. She was barefoot, and it started to rain. "That's my daughter," she shouted as she ran into the crime scene to meet a group of people leaving the church before officers stopped her.
"I really can't even describe how unnecessary and senseless this situation is," Baltimore police spokesman T.J. Smith said. "There's still food on the table inside."
Later, family members carried out the food wrapped in foil — the greens and ham and Tarsha Mackk's pasta salad. The meal, she said, was supposed to celebrate Addison's life.
Next door, William Pinderhughes Elementary/Middle School was locked down, delaying dismissal about a half-hour, administrators said.
Gunfire has marred other services to mourn those killed in Baltimore.
In 2009, Virginia McGhee, 34, was shot and killed after stepping outside during a viewing for her boyfriend. He had been shot and killed the week before. That shooting happened at Joseph H. Brown Jr. Funeral Home, about a half-mile from New Song.
Two people were shot in April 2008 outside Unity Methodist Church in the 1400 block of Edmondson Ave. About 300 mourners had gathered there for the viewing of a 26-year-old man who had been killed in a triple shooting.
And in 2001, a man was shot at while leaving another funeral home after a viewing for his murdered brother.
Addison was shot multiple times shortly before 6 p.m. on May 25. He was found inside a home in the 1200 block of North Carey St., about a half-mile from New Song.
On Tuesday afternoon, police did not identify Addison's father or brother. Smith said charges are pending against the brother. The case, Smith said, was "open and shut."
Still, officers said they worried about retaliatory violence amid the tense scene outside New Song. No one else was hurt.
Someone who answered the church phone said Pastor Louis Wilson did not wish to comment.
Inside, the hall was scattered with plastic forks and knives and crumpled napkins. The church door was locked. A sign said Bible study was canceled.
The grandfather, Charles Addison, watched it all.
Someone told him, "Good luck." But he shook his head.
"What we need is prayer."
Baltimore Sun reporters Kevin Rector and Jonathan Pitts contributed to this article.