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Two Girls Start Lemonade Stand to Help Fund Michael Berry's Funeral

Two girls in Sweetwater started a lemonade stand last Friday to raise money for Michael Berry's funeral. Berry is the suspect killed during a police standoff in Sweetwater last week.
50-year-old Michael Berry of Sweetwater is accused of stealing a front-end loader from a Sweetwater business early Thursday morning
50-year-old Michael Berry of Sweetwater is accused of stealing a front-end loader from a Sweetwater business early Thursday morning
Friends of Michael Berry, the suspect killed during a police standoff in Sweetwater last Friday, say his family is taking the news hard.

Berry's son drove in from San Angelo to join his sister as they prepare for the funeral this week.

After his death, those who knew Berry are helping his family out, including two young girls using their friendship and pink lemonade to make a difference.

Ayezha DeLeon and Marisa Johnson are both 10-years-old and call each other best friends. After learning about his death, they created a lemonade stand with the help from Ayezha's mother to raise money for Berry's funeral.

The two have been collecting money since Friday, and have raised $187.

"We spray painted a lemonade stand and decided after learning about the death, to buy two jars of pickles, two bags of ice and lemonade," says Diane Little, Ayezha's mother.

Those close to Berry called him by his nickname, 'Mickey.'

"We heard that Michael Berry died but at first I didn't know who he was," says Johnson. "My Aunt told me it was Mickey and I started crying."

Both girls' grandparents knew Berry's family and have considered 'Mickey' a close friend.

"He used to make us laugh and was really funny," DeLeon said.

Berry was involved in a standoff with Sweetwater and Abilene police following a felony theft investigation on Friday. Police say Berry began shooting at officers, and they returned fire.

On Sunday, a stranger gave a check for $100. The two girls planned on giving the money collected to Berry's children on Monday.

Berry's funeral is this Wednesday.

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