DENVILLE, NJ -- A GoFundMe site has raised more than $11,000 for the family of Jahahd Payne, 23, of Randolph. Denville’s Celebrate the Children created the “In Loving Memory of Jahahd Payne” page, which reads:

“Early in the morning on August 5, 2019, Jahahd passed away suddenly. He was an amazing friend, passionate worker and talented artist. He made a difference in the lives of so many. He was expecting his first child later this year and leaves so many with an empty space in his heart. We will miss him dearly every day.”

An innocent bystander in the wrong place at the wrong time, Payne died of gun violence on Monday, Aug. 5, in Newark, New Jersey, after dropping off a close acquaintance. His homicide remains under investigation with few details disclosed by the Newark Police Department to date.

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Popular and beloved in his community, Payne’s church hosted a free grief counseling session in Morristown on Aug. 8 to help family and friends begin to process and cope with the tragedy. More than 200 people, ages five to 85, attended to express their love, heartbreak, fear, anger and disbelief. “Jahahd didn’t deserve this,” was a common refrain as well as comments about his perpetual smile and easygoing disposition.

Payne’s family announced the funeral arrangements at the end of the grief counseling session. Visitation is 6 - 9 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 13, at Calvary Baptist Church, 10 Martin Luther King Avenue in Morristown. The funeral service is 11 a.m., Wednesday, Aug. 14, also at Calvary Baptist Church. A one-hour visitation period will precede the funeral service.

To commemorate Payne’s artistic sensibilities and playfulness, the family requests that everyone wear colorful clothing, tie-dye preferred, “definitely no black.”

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