Hundreds of mourners remember Poughkeepsie star athlete at funeral

POUGHKEEPSIE, New York (WABC) -- Hundreds stood in line in Poughkeepsie Tuesday for the viewing and funeral of 18-year-old Caval Haylett, who was shot last week on his way home from a basketball game.

Trevor Johnson, his brother, described Haylett as a "very caring person, family oriented, athletic." "His character speaks for itself," said Johnson.

As a young man, Haylett was just realizing a life that held so much promise. "For me, at least, he wanted to do bigger and better things and move on," said Johnson.

Public schools in Poughkeepsie were closed to allow students to attend the funeral of the high schooler. Mourners paid their respects at the Bethel Church of God in Christ.

They were fellow athletes, classmates, many other friends and family who knew and saw the promise in the student.

"This is just so sad, a tragedy," said one mourner. "I just feel for the family right now, and my prayers go out to the family and everyone."

"This kid is really missed because he is a very good kid. Very loved. It's just sad and tragic," said a friend, Donna West.

"He was a great role model. He believed in getting to class on time, going to school on time," said a family member, Rev. Lance Hardy.

Haylett, a star athlete at Poughkeepsie High School, had just played in the Dutchess County All-Star basketball game Wednesday, scoring 21 points.

He was standing with several people outside a house when someone fired into the group, hitting Haylett in the head.

It appears Haylett was not the intended target. Another 18-year-old was injured.

His family arrived together for the funeral. Some mourners paid their respects by wearing Haylett's No. 5.

Haylett had worked to improve his grades and was fielding offers from Division II schools.

"That's all he wanted to do. Play ball. Family. Chill around friends. Like any teenager, he had big dreams," said Johnson.

Police have made no arrests in the shooting.

"We've got to come together as a city, as I said to heal, and to support his family. And to support his school. Everyone is in this together," said Poughkeepsie Mayor Rob Rolison.
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