A nightclub in Washington, DC has sparked outrage after hosting a funeral that featured what appeared to be the embalmed corpse of a young up-and-coming rapper propped up on stage.
Video of the event, dubbed The Final Show, shows Maryland rapper Goonew’s lifeless body on stage at Bliss Nightclub as a crowd of people dance and sing on the dance floor nearby.
Goonew, 24, whose real name is Markelle Morrow, was shot and killed on the night of March 18 in the District Heights neighborhood of Maryland. His mother, Patrice Parker Morrow, said he was shot in the back during a robbery.
Police found Morrow suffering from a gunshot wound in a parking lot in the 3400 block of Walters Lane. He was taken to a nearby hospital and pronounced dead a short time later.
Many of Goonew’s fans took to social media to voice their displeasure with the event.
“No way Goonew mama approved that (stuff) that’s so sad and disrespectful,” one Twitter user wrote.
“These people doing shit to be “different” so bad . It’s terrible …” another posted.
“Oh this is a dead body .. man what kinda evil shit y’all on,” another wrote.
Even 50 Cent chimed in, posting under a video from the night that also showed Goonew’s body, “Oh (crap)! I just realized what this is,” with a facepalm emoji.
The family told News FOX 5 that Morrow’s homecoming celebration was exactly how they wanted to honor his life.
Morrow’s mother said she didnt want people to be sad and added that she should be able to say “goodbye” however she wants.
“For all the negatives, people probably don’t even know nothing about us,” she said. “They have no idea. People just saying what they want to say and that’s fine. That’s perfectly fine. I’m pleased with how I sent my son away. I wish people would just let me grieve in peace.”
Bliss Nightclub released a statement on the matter after numerous people questioned via social media why the rapper’s body was on public display in their venue.
“Our deepest condolences to Goonew’s family, friends and fans,” the nightclub wrote on its Twitter and Instagram accounts. “Bliss was contacted by a local funeral home to rent out our venue for Goonew’s home-going celebration.
“Bliss was never made aware of what would transpire. We sincerely apologize to all those who may be upset or offended. Please keep Goonew’s family and friends in your prayers at this difficult time.”
The Prince George’s County Police Department’s Homicide Unit detectives are still investigating the incident and are working to identify and arrest the suspect or suspects who shot and killed Morrow. Police are currently offering a $25,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest of a suspect in the shooting.