MATTAPAN (CBS) — Family, friends and the community came together at the Morningstar Baptist Church for the funeral of 7-year-old Kyzr Willis of Dorchester who drowned at a city run camp.

His death has shaken the entire city and Thursday his grief-stricken parents heard words of encouragement from family members who say they are looking for the good in the tragedy.

7-year-old Kyzr Willis (Curley Community Center)

7-year-old Kyzr Willis (Curley Community Center)

“Kyzr at the young age he is, is actually saving lives today. He’s saving other children’s lives,” said his uncle Edward Toney.

The city has implemented new safety protocols at some of its day camps that include additional headcounts of campers and increased staffing levels.

Family and friends surrounded the casket for Kyzr Willis Thursday. (WBZ-TV)

Family and friends surrounded the casket for Kyzr Willis Thursday. (WBZ-TV)

Kyzr’s body was found about 20 yards offshore after he apparently walked away with at least two dozen counselors and 8 lifeguards on duty at the Curley Community Center in South Boston.

“The young man Kyzr became the son of the city of Boston. He belongs to all of us now,” said Bishop John Borders, pastor of the church.

The church was filled to capacity as Kyzr was remembered as an exuberant boy who loved roller skating and ninja turtles.

“He was always playful, always smiling and loved everyone around him,” said his cousin Derek Toney.

Outside, his casket was carried by a horse and carriage followed by a line of mourners of all ages dressed symbolically in white. “He’s an angel, he’s a young kid who was taken too soon,” said family friend Yvonne Jones.

Investigators have determined Kyzr’s death was an accident but his family is still trying to learn more about what happened that day. “There’s too many unclosed circles,” said his cousin Joe Jackson.

A GoFundMe page set up by Willis’s family had raised more than $22,000.  You can donate here.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Kim Tunnicliffe reports

Beth Germano

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