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Mourning a loss

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This is why A Better LA exists, and why it will not relent in its pursuit for peace on the streets of inner-city Los Angeles.

Coach Carroll spent the morning at the memorial service for Dannie Farber Jr., the Narbonne High School football player who was gunned down at a Compton restaurant two weeks ago.

Farber, who police have determined has no gang connections, was shot and killed in an apparent gang-related attack in South Los Angeles on May 24 while eating dinner with a date. Set to graduate June 19 and potentially play football collegiately, Farber was an All-City wide receiver on the Los Angeles City co-champion Narbonne High squad.

Instead of acting as a discouragement for the positive work in the inner-city by groups such as A Better LA, the service was uplifting and hopeful, Carroll said.

"All the speakers talked about how we'll grow from this -- it's an illustration of why we need to do something," Carroll said this afternoon. "It's continuing to echo throughout Los Angeles that people are really ready to go. Dannie's passing was another call to arms for everyone."

Legendary musician Stevie Wonder was a surprise performer at the ceremony in Gardena, bringing the mourners both to joy and tears.

"Holy mackerel, he was spectacular," Carroll said of Wonder. "He started playing and then broke out in the Lord's Prayer, and everyone was cheering and crying. It was emotional, amazing, incredible."

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