Photo credit: (AP)
NEW YORK (AP) — Hundreds mourned Hector Camacho on Saturday in the landmark East Harlem church the fighter attended as a boy, and hundreds more cheered and shouted “Macho!” when his coffin was carried out and loaded into a hearse afterward.
“Hector lived the American dream, to come from simple beginnings and to be known by thousands of people,” the Rev. Frank Skelly said. “He could lift us up, and he could break our hearts. He could inspire us and at times disappoint us.”
Camacho, a native of Puerto Rico who moved to East Harlem as a child, was shot in the face on Nov. 20 while sitting in a parked car with a friend outside a bar in Bayamon, his hometown in the U.S. territory. The friend, Adrian Mojica Moreno, died at the scene. The boxer died after doctors removed him from life support.
Police have said they have suspects but have not yet arrested anyone for the shooting.
There was no mention of Camacho’s bloody end during the service at St. Cecilia, an imposing brick and terra cotta church that is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Skelly, the church’s former pastor, said he remembered Camacho as a child in the 1970s.
“I really didn’t see much of Hector after he left our school, so I still see him as a little boy, and I think that’s how God sees him,” the priest said. “Everything else is not important.”