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Mourners filled the pews at St. Jarlath Catholic Church in Oakland this morning for a funeral mass for slain 15-year-old Raquel Gerstel. Family members and close friends filed past Raquel’s casket at the 10 a.m. mass, held just over two weeks after the San Leandro teen was shot and killed in East Oakland along with her friend Bobbie Sartain, 16. Fr. William Marshall led the service, calling the teen’s death, “such a horrible tragedy.
” She was shot multiple times around 5 a.m. on Nov. 25 near Brookdale Park. Police have yet to identify any suspects in the shooting. Marshall said this morning, “There are times when human nature should be ashamed of themselves … This is one of those times.” Family and friends, wearing purple ribbons to honor the Arroyo High School freshman, ended the service by following the casket as it was loaded onto a hearse to be taken to St. Mary’s Cemetery in Oakland.
Rachel Cummins, Raquel’s former seventh-grade teacher at Washington Manor Middle School in San Lorenzo, said Raquel was “full of life” and “motherly,” always taking care of other students and adults. A celebration of her life will be held this afternoon at 1 p.m. at Eagles Hall at 2305 Alameda Ave. in Alameda.
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