Adrian Taylor, the victim’s brother, said tearfully that Christian was “a competitor and a fighter who did not want to be left behind.”
He added that Christian told him he wanted to change the world and be the next Martin Luther King, Reuters reported.
In the funeral program, the teenager’s mother, Tina – who hasn’t spoken publicly since her son’s death – wrote a note to her Christian: “To know that you are resting with our Father is enough for me.”
Among the mourners were the 19-year-old’s football teammates from Angelo State University, and they spoke of him as a person full of energy who had much to offer.
“They made the five-hour trip from San Angelo … to support Christian’s family and loved ones and to help work through their grief over the loss of their teammate and friend,” a statement from the university read.
Ronnie Goines, senior pastor of the Koinonia Christian Church, said during the ceremony that Taylor was also devoted to religion.
“He was on fire for the Lord,” he said, adding that the officer was too fast to open fire at the unarmed teenager.
The teenager’s family and friends told The Dallas Morning News earlier this week that shortly before his death, Christian started going to church and writing in text messages about love for God and his family.
Taylor was shot last week after breaking into an auto dealership and vandalizing vehicles there. Family and friends say they don’t know what caused Taylor’s behavior.
49-year-old police trainee officer Brad Miller fired four rounds at the unarmed teenager, who died from gunshot wounds to the neck, chest and abdomen.
A few days ago, Miller was fired for exercising poor judgment, the police department.
On Tuesday, Arlington Police Chief Will Johnson said that Miller had taken a few bad steps while dealing with the situation: while communicating with fellow officers, and initially approaching Taylor alone without a plan for arrest.
Police are now readying a criminal case against Miller.
The killing of Christian Taylor happened just two days before the one-year anniversary of 18-year-old Michael Brown’s death in Ferguson, Missouri.
His killing started the “Black Lives Matter” campaign, and triggered a series of protests all over the US.