‘Tiny hero’ Marty Cobb buried with teddy bear

Posted at 12:23 PM, May 09, 2014
and last updated 2014-05-09 18:21:16-04

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) - Mourners filed into a South Richmond church Friday morning to say goodbye to eight-year-old Martin Cobb. Martin, known as Marty to friends and family, was killed last week near his South Richmond home.

Marty Cobb's mother pauses at her son's coffin. (PHOTO: Shelby Brown)

Marty Cobb's mother pauses at her son's coffin. (PHOTO: Shelby Brown)

Family members said Cobb was killed while he attempted to defend his 12-year-old sister from an attacking teenage boy. Marty's sister survived the attack. Police later arrested a 16-year-old suspect for Marty's murder.

An overflow space was established at the church to accommodate not only friends and family, but strangers who felt compelled to pay their last respects to a child dubbed a tiny hero.

"Anytime there is a death, especially a child, it brings emotions you don't normally have," mourner F. Dorsey Houston said before the memorial service. "That could have been my grandson. That could have been my son. That was the reason to come, even if I don't even get a chance to speak to the parents. The ministry of presence carries a lot."

Marty was buried in a new suit donated by Virginia State University football coach Latrell Scott. He was to be buried with a bag of hot potato chips and a teddy bear, CBS 6 reporter Jerrita Patterson noted from outside the church.