PARAGOULD, AR (KAIT) – A Region 8 teenager was laid to rest Friday afternoon at Greene County Memorial Gardens north of Paragould. Dillon McKinnis Brown, who was accidentally shot to death Sunday night after duck hunting, was remembered at Phillips Funeral Home in Paragould. During the ceremony, a number of firefighters, family members and friends said their goodbyes to Brown. Brown was 14 years old.
"He's an avid hunter, fisher, likes to go frog gigging, deer hunt, duck hunt. He just really loved that," said Blake Boggs, Dillon's uncle.
Before the service, Boggs talked about Brown with Region 8 News. Boggs said Brown loved hunting and playing baseball. Brown was also a junior member of the Marmaduke Fire Department.
"I've been to some of his games and he had been at it a while. He was looking forward to it I guess next year of being on the school team or trying out for the school team," said Boggs. "He had his turnout gear and I've been out there a few times and he had meetings or a training session or something."
Brown was born March 11, 1997. He died late Sunday night at Le Bonheur Children's Hospital in Memphis. He was transported to the hospital after suffering a gunshot wound. Boggs said it was an accident after a duck hunt.
"I've got a daughter that's a year and a half older than him, and those two are just like that. You know, any time they got to spend together, they were together," said an emotional Boggs. "Pretty well the hardest part was I had to tell my grandma, which is Dillon's great grandma. And we done that about 6:00 that morning and that was really rough."
Before Brown's funeral, members of the Marmaduke Fire Department and other fire departments near the small town joined in on the procession to the grave site.
"I guess it's something that's not supposed to happen but it's hard to grasp," said Boggs. "The bad thing about the whole deal is Tuesday was my dad's birthday, yesterday was my birthday and you can't say happy birthday."
Bill Muse, principal at Marmaduke High School, offered words of encouragement and sorrow for family members and friends.
Muse recalled multiple instances where he had to deal with Brown.
"He'll always be a fireman. He'll always be your son and he'll always be a greyhound and I'll always be thankful," said Muse. "Ms. April. You did a good job. I've known for a long time you did right by that one. But I want to tell you, you done right by this one."
"How many young men at this age can transcend so many age groups?" said Muse. "I don't want anything to take those (memories) away. I don't want anything to take their place."
Dillon is survived by his mother, sister, half brother, grandfather, grandmother and great grandmother, along with his brothers on the Marmaduke Fire Department.