Grief and sense of resolve at BART stabbing victim Nia Wilson's funeral

The community came together in Oakland on Friday to remember 18-year-old Nia Wilson, who was fatally stabbed in an unprovoked attack at the MacArthur BART station.

"I never thought I'd lose you, but here I am, standing alone without you by my side," said Wilson's cousin Ebony Monroe, addressing mourners at a funeral that was billed as a "life celebration."

"We're cousins for life - we promised," Monroe said. "But now you're gone. I don't know what to do."

Another cousin, Lauren Williams, broke down as she said, "I love Nia so much, it breaks my heart to say bye to her."

Along with the grief - a sense of resolve -  and calls not to let her death be in vain.

"We stand with you today demanding justice," said Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland, drawing applause. "Demanding justice. There is no peace without justice."

Nia had dreams of joining the Navy and becoming an EMT or paramedic, to help and heal people. Loved ones called her an angel and said she had the ability to unite people.

At Acts Full Gospel Church, no one mentioned the name of the man accused and charged with murder. But there was one sentiment about the police search for him, that drew much approval.

"And I wanted them to find him, but I was hoping the homies catch him first," said Bishop Keith Clark of Word Assembly Church to raucous cheers.

Officials from the Alameda County district attorney's office - including the lead prosecutor in the case - members of the Oakland City Council and BART directors were among those who paid their respects.

"It pains my heart to have to stand here today, but I also have a lot of joy that this community is standing up in waves," said BART Director Lateefah Simon. "That's going to push change in our system and other systems."

Oakland City Councilwoman Rebecca Kaplan said, "We need to uplift the life of Nia Wilson and tell the stories of her compassion and commitment, but also commit to protect our young people and recognize the incredible pain that they're dealing with."

Nia means "purpose" in Swahili. For others, her name represents something else.

"N-I-A!" said Bishop Clark. "We are now in action!"