Family of Goonew talks after his home-going celebration sparks controversy

A Maryland rapper who was shot and killed last month was buried Monday. But it's the celebration of Markelle Morrow’s life in a D.C. nightclub that is raising some eyebrows. 

Videos of Morrow's body propped upright on stage for hours inside the venue have gone viral. 

FOX 5's David Kaplan spoke to Morrow's family – who said they were celebrating right next to his body during the home-going celebration at Bliss Nightclub on Sunday.

The family said it's exactly how they wanted to honor his life. 

RELATED: Maryland rapper Goonew's dead body put on public display in DC nightclub

His mother, Patrice Morrow, buried her son Monday and said he didn’t want people to be sad. 

She also added that she should be able to say "goodbye" however she wants. 

"For all the negatives, people probably don’t even know nothing about us," she said. "They have no idea. People just saying what they want to say and that’s fine. That’s perfectly fine. I’m pleased with how I sent my son away. I wish people would just let me grieve in peace."

Videos from inside the Northeast D.C. nightclub Bliss show Morrow, who went by the stage name Goonew, fully propped upright on the stage as people listened to music and danced around his lifeless body.


Social media posts have questioned why Bliss allowed this to happen, but the family says they worked with the funeral home and with Bliss on the event.

Despite the negativity, Morrow’s family says this is the celebration they wanted, and they don’t regret it.

"We’re not trying to clear anything up," said Ariana Morrow, Goonew's sister. "We don’t care about anybody and what ya’ll have to say negative. Nobody. We don’t care.

"They’re like, I know his mama wouldn’t approve of that. Yeah, she did, she was on stage with us."

Download the FOX 5 DC News App for Local Breaking News and Weather

In an Instagram post today, Bliss apologized to family, fans, and friends, saying they were contacted by a funeral home, but "never made aware of what would transpire." 

"We sincerely apologize to all those who may be upset or offended," the statement reads.

Morrow was killed on March 18 in District Heights, Maryland. His death remains an open homicide investigation. Police are offering a $25,000 reward for a tip leading to an arrest.