Funeral Held for 9-Year-Old Boy Killed in Oakdale Shooting

Posted at: 02/18/2013 5:46 AM
Updated at: 02/18/2013 6:07 PM
By: Cassie Hart

Hundreds of friends and family members gathered to remember the 9-year-old Oakdale boy killed during a random shooting spree.

Devin Aryal's funeral began at 11 a.m. Monday morning at Guardian Angels Catholic Church.

An open casket visitation was held from 9-11 a.m. for family and friends to say goodbye.

A full Catholic funeral was held at Guardian Angels Catholic Church, the church where Devin took faith formation classes and made his first communion. Devin's father, grandfather and uncles were his pallbearers.

Devin's favorite color was green and many wore green to the service. Everyone in attendance wore a green ribbon in Devin's honor.

"Devin was always bubbly whenever I saw him around school. He was always with everybody and smiling. He was friends with everyone," said Gabriella Rongstad, who once attended school with Devin.

Devin loved soccer, school and Spider-Man. He wanted to be an astronaut.

"He was a friend to others, he helped those that were down, or those that were being picked on, and so he was always there for them," said Father Rodger Bauman of Guardian Angels Catholic Church.

During the service, Devin's great uncle Warren said Devin was full of life and love: "The loss of Devin is unspeakably sad, we will never forget him."

"It's such a senseless crime. It was a random act of violence. We want peace and compassion for everybody, there's no excuse for this, there's no explaining this," said Karen Lee, close family friend.

Several rows of the church were filled with students and teachers from Oakdale Elementary School, where Devin was a fourth grader. During the service, they placed white and green carnations on Devin's small casket.

"You should not have to talk with your 10-year-old son about a friend who just passed away in this way. It's just been very hard," said Melissa Rongstad, whose son was in Devin's class.

"Devin was a normal happy 9 year old who touched so many lives and gave back just unconditional love and joy to everyone he came in contact with. This world was better off with Devin in it. He was a genuine gift from god and will be truly missed," Lee said, reading comments from Devin's family.

His casket was taken to the Guardian Angels Cemetery next to the church, where it was laid to rest at a grave site donated by some parishioners. 

Earlier this month he was shot multiple times near a Rainbow Foods grocery store. Nhan Tran is charged with six felonies in connection with the shooting.

A memorial fund has been set up for Devin's family at U.S. Bank.