Dillan Harris was buried Saturday in a tiny white coffin.
The 13-month-old wore a white suit as his family celebrated his short life.
A week after little Dillan was run-down by a man fleeing a South Shore shooting, about 500 family, friends and loved ones gathered atGatling’s Chapel on the city’s South Side.
They wept as they viewed the baby’s body, unable to comprehend why the smiley baby became an innocent victim of Chicago’s violence. A nurse was on hand to make sure people weren’t overcome.
Though he wasn’t killed in a shooting, Dillan, known as “Dill Pickle,” was run over as he sat in his stroller, waiting with his family to head to the beach.
Authorities allege Antoine Watkins was driving a car that was fleeing a fatal shooting in the 7700 block of South Kingston that claimed the life of 22-year-old rapper Marvin “Capo” Carr. Watkins has been charged with murder in Dillan’s death.
Dillan’s parents, grandparents, siblings and a host of uncles, aunts and cousins sat in the front rows, most wearing white. They did not speak during the service but wrote in the funeral program, which was decorated with Mickey Mouse: “Baby Dillan will forever be in our hearts.”
“The hurt. Oh Lord, the hurt. I know of no hurt like that of a child taken in death,” the Rev. Neil Redd told mourners, adding: “Only the Lord knows why he would take a child. He may or he may not give a reason to us. Don’t be angry with God. It hurts so bad because we don’t understand.”
“Why he would choose to allow this to happen? He knows the purpose.”
In the impassioned eulogy, Redd quoted heavily from scripture and electrified the crowd when he said: “When babies die, they go straight to heaven. Hallelujah!”
The pastor said he called the baby, “Deacon Dillan” as the baby was attentive in church and showed a wisdom beyond his years.
“When I first met the boy — when he came into this world —I looked into his eyes and we just shared a bond right away,” Redd said. “Such joy he brought into our lives. Every time you saw him he was smiling.”
And though the service was focused on the baby’s religious salvation, the pastor ended his eulogy by calling attention to the senseless violence.
“If one act of violence can cause this type of love in this place for these families,” Redd said, “think of what this love can do for the city of Chicago.”