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Family of Anthony Thompson Jr. feels mistrust as they set arrangements for teen’s funeral

Funeral Director in charge of three Austin-East teen’s funerals says the family wants answers
Published: Apr. 15, 2021 at 11:47 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - For Brian Buckman, the past year for his business hasn’t been easy. The funeral director has had to burry several Austin-East Magnet High School students who have lost their lives to gun violence over the past couple of months.

”It’s a calling, it’s not for everyone but I love it. I have a servant’s heart, I love serving people and this is what I do,” said Buckmon.

Buckmon is a friend of the family and also owns Patton Funeral Home. He is tasked with planning the funeral for Anthony Thompson Jr.

”I grew up with the family, know them well and my heart goes out to them. Here we are dealing with a situation with so many questions,” said Buckmon.

Buckmon is familiar with planning funerals for Austin-East students, he’s already performed two others this year.

”This is not an easy job, it’s not an easy job because what words can you say to a family,” asked Buckmon.

Buckmon has held services for both Justin Taylor and Janaria Muhammad. He said this time it’s different.

There are questions surrounding Thompson Jr.’s death that may not be answered soon.

”Could it have been prevented,” asked Buckmon? “We don’t know.”

While the family rests another night feeling distrust in the system, the man planning the funeral is asking for transparency for the family.

”They want the truth, they want the facts, let them fall where they fall, if there’s accountability deal with it if there’s changes, procedures, and policies that need to happen then by golly do it,” added Buckmon.

A public walk-thru will be held Thursday, April 22nd from 9 a.m. until 11 a.m. at Overcoming Believers Church. A private ceremony will follow Friday.

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