A Washington, D.C., nightclub apologized Monday after videos showed what appeared to be the body of a dead rapper onstage during a funeral event.
In a statement, Bliss nightclub said it was “never made aware of what would transpire” during a $40 event Sunday that was billed as “The Final Show” for Markelle Morrow, known as Goonew.
Morrow, 24, was found fatally shot in a parking lot in District Heights, Maryland, last month. His killing remains unsolved.
In the statement, Bliss said it had been contacted by a local funeral home and asked to rent out its venue for the "homegoing celebration" Sunday. The club offered a "sincere apology to all those who may be upset or offended."
Video of the event published by TMZ appeared to show Morrow in a sweatshirt and jeans with a crown on his head. He appeared to have been embalmed and propped up on stage as music played and some people danced.
In another video, spark machines could be seen showering the stage.
"Tbh goonew deserved way better in my opinion, long live him tho," the person who posted the video commented on Twitter. Another user noted that "desecration of a human corpse" is against the law.
Efforts to reach Morrow's relatives Tuesday were unsuccessful. His mother, Patrice Morrow, told WTTG-TV that her family wanted to host a celebration with his body before his funeral Monday.
"That's how he wanted to go out," she told the station. "He didn't want people to be sad and crying. He always wanted people to be happy and having fun."
Patrice Vincent, his sister, said: "We want that message to be out: We celebrated the life of my brother how we wanted to. My brother was a legend."