EAST BRIDGEWATER, Mass. -- Hundreds of mourners paid their final respects Tuesday to a college student killed when police fired pepper-spray pellets into a raucous crowd after the Boston Red Sox won the American League pennant.
About 500 friends, family and dignitaries -- including Gov. Mitt Romney, Boston Mayor Thomas Menino and Boston Police Commissioner Kathleen O'Toole -- filled St. John's Catholic Church for the funeral Mass for Victoria Snelgrove, an apparent bystander to the violence.
In a eulogy marked by soft sobbing from mourners -- many of them young friends and classmates of Snelgrove -- the Rev. Wally Keymont criticized the rowdy fans whose behavior led to the young woman's death.
"Why did this have to happen?" he said. "I don't know why. Some people feel it's their God-given right to riot, to destroy property and cause mayhem. ... It is destructive and it is deadly."
Snelgrove, a 21-year-old junior at Boston's Emerson College, was hit in the eye by a pellet early Thursday as police tried to control the 80,000 revelers who gathered outside Fenway Park after the Red Sox beat their archrival Yankees.
Her death prompted questions about whether police overreacted to the mostly college crowd. The police department was criticized as unprepared when rioting broke out in February following the New England Patriots' Super Bowl win; one person was killed and another critically injured.
O'Toole said the department was creating an independent committee to investigate the shooting. Police also are conducting two internal investigations, and the district attorney's office is looking into the matter.
Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press
MORE MLB HEADLINES
- Royals' Hochevar needs Tommy John surgery
- Report: D-backs, Perez agree to $4.25M deal
- Nats' Fister held out with elbow inflammation
- Padres' Maybin to avoid surgery on biceps
MOST SENT STORIES ON ESPN.COM
- MLB Home
- AL East
- Baltimore Orioles
- Boston Red Sox
- New York Yankees
- Tampa Bay Rays
- Toronto Blue Jays
- AL Central
- Chicago White Sox
- Cleveland Indians
- Detroit Tigers
- Kansas City Royals
- Minnesota Twins
- AL West
- Houston Astros
- Los Angeles Angels
- Oakland Athletics
- Seattle Mariners
- Texas Rangers
- Fantasy: Sign up!
- Spring blog