The family of an “avid gamer” who was murdered in New Orleans, displayed his body sitting upright in a chair with a Playstation controller in his hands. He also had snacks at his side and was wearing his favourite basketball jersey and flip-flops, in a unique memorial service.
Renard Matthews, 18, was shot dead while he was out walking his dog two weeks ago. His family said they wanted him to be surrounded by the things he loved for his final send off.
Mr Matthews, who a neighbour described as “a nice young man,” was a fan of basketball team Boston Celtics. His body was decked out in the team’s jersey and matching socks, while a TV showing a video of one of their games was placed in front of him during the wake at Charbonnet Labat Glapion Funeral Home.
His mother, Temeka Matthews, told local news station WGNO her son was a bit of a “homebody,” and mostly enjoyed staying in.
She said he had only recently started venturing outside more frequently since she bought him the dog.
Police have not given a motive for the shooting and no arrests have been made, according to The Times-Picayune newspaper. Mr Mathews’ aunt told the newspaper that his mobile phone had been stolen.
In a video of the wake, Mr Matthews can be seen on a leather swivel chair, wearing sunglasses, and with a bottle of root beer on a side table next to a packet of crisps. A box of Chocolate Chip Crunch breakfast cereal on the floor next to his chair.
It is not the first time the Charbonnet Labat Glapion Funeral Home has performed “extreme embalmings”.
In 2014, the funeral home hosted the wake of Miriam “Mae Mae” Burbank, 53, whose family described her as a “party girl” who loved beer and scotch. Her body was posed sitting with a beer, a menthol cigarette and an ashtray at a table.
This type of funeral is popular in Puerto Rico, where recent examples have included a taxi driver who appeared at his wake inside his cab with his hands on the steering wheel, and a man dressed as superhero The Green Lantern.