SOUTH CAROLINA – People from Townville and beyond donned capes, cowls, and superhero-themed clothes on Wednesday to say goodbye to Townville Elementary School shooting victim Jacob Hall.
The six-year-old died on October 1, three days after being shot. The first grader was among three students and a teacher injured in the shooting.
Jacob was remembered during a superhero-themed celebration of life service at Oakdale Baptist Church, according to WHNS-TV.
Jacob's mother, Renae Hall, encouraged anyone who wanted to say goodbye to Jacob to wear superhero outfits and attend the funeral for her fallen hero.
Batman and Nightwing from Heroes 4 Higher journeyed from West Virginia, and even brought a special Batmobile, nicknamed the Hope-mobile, to be a part of the service. Batman, a.k.a. John Buckland, said a plaque with Jacob's name and information will be added to a memorial section of the vehicle.
Batman was the first to speak during the funeral. The caped crusader offered condolences to the family and praised the community for coming together and rallying around the victims in wake of the tragedy.
"Out of this community, the world is learning how to do it right, and they're learning it from a six-year-old boy," Batman said.
The comic book hero also told mourners to apply the lessons Jacob offered to their daily lives.
"Let's take what we've learned from Jacob and let it make us a better person," Batman said.
Batman highlighted virtues of forgiveness, caring for others, and courage, and closed by reminding the community to "help others, because Jacob would."
Dr. David Blizzard also spoke, calling Jacob a gift from God and acknowledging that the Townville shooting was the most difficult thing he had ever endured during his 30 years in ministry.
Blizzard said the English language had words, such as orphan or widow, to describe people who have lost loved ones, but he said no or phrase exists to describe what the Hall family is going through.
"We do not have a word in our language to define the loss of a child to a parent," Blizzard said. "I think the reason for that is, it's not supposed to happen."
Rev. Tim Marcengill thanked the doctors and staff at Greenville Health System for working to hard to save Jacob, and said there are just some things that people can't fix no matter how much they want to.
"We just can't fix what happened here," Marcengill said of the Townville tragedy. "We can't go back to the old normal. We're going to have to make a new normal going forward."
The pastor said Jacob's small hand touched the whole big world, and that in spite of the tragedy, Jacob Hall's superhero story would have a happy ending.
"Last Wednesday, darkness and evil came to Townville, but this Wednesday, there's grace and faith, and hope and love that will win in the end of this superhero story," Marcengill said.
Governor Nikki Haley and Senator Tim Scott also attended the funeral. The lawmakers did not speak but paid their respects to the family.
While many could not attend the funeral, they still paid their respects on Wednesday by wearing and sharing superhero outfits in Jacob's honor.
Hundreds of people also turned out Tuesday night for Jacob Hall's visitation, wearing superhero costumes to honor the life of the child superhero.