He was heading home to carry the casket of his best friend, who was tragically shot to death just last week. Now, Malik Cooper will sadly need a funeral of his own.
The 20-year-old college student was killed in a car crash Sunday night on Alabama's Highway 85. The accident saw this vehicle flip several times, Atlanta's WSB-TV reports.
His mother, Bridget Grimes, told the station,
It just hurt me to my heart like someone came and ripped my heart away.
Cooper had been driving from Tuskegee University, where he studied business, to Georgia, where he was going to serve as a pallbearer for deceased friend Marquez Montgomery.
Despite the roads being wet, the 20-year-old still set out to make the trip back home. His stepfather, Charles Grimes, told WSB,
He was determined to get here to be a pallbearer, but unfortunately accidents happened.
The funeral Cooper was going to attend is a tragic story in its own right. Cooper's friend, 15-year-old Marquez Montgomery, had been shot to death in his own home last week.
Police say the man who killed Marquez was his 21-year-old cousin, Dontavious Montgomery, who was reportedly out on bond for another homicide.
Through tears, Marquez's girlfriend reportedly told WSB about witnessing the shooting:
We were on FaceTime and I was asking him how my outfit looked and then the phone went face down and he wasn't saying nothing. His eyes were closed. Then I heard his daddy screaming, and his grandma screaming.
Dontavious was charged with murder despite family members, including a grandmother who was in the home at the time of the shooting, insisting it was an accident.
Nevertheless, the shooting still appears to have led to two deaths: both Marquez Montgomery and his friend Malik Cooper. There's no doubting the tragedy in that.