After Khalil Cousart,13, was shot and killed early Tuesday morning, his father is calling for change. He said he hopes other young men will learn from his loss.
Police said the suspect is the victim's friend, Damien Wright, 16, who is now charged with murder. So far a motive hasn't been released, but Khalil’s family members said they're sad he's gone but they're not upset with his murderer.
"We know it was an accident so there is no kind of retaliation, no nothing like that, no hard feelings," said the victim's brother, Kwante Orr.
Police haven’t said what led to the shooting, but family members said Wright was trying to protect Khalil during an argument with an unknown group of people. They believe Khalil was accidentally shot. Classmates say he was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
"Just trusting people, and he shouldn't have trusted the person who he was with," said Promise Sherman.
Khalil's father said he hopes that other parents will make sure their children aren't put in the same situation.
"We all need to bind together the younger kids out here," said Cousart’s father.
WSOC-TV spoke with Khalil's cousin moments after their first visit to the makeshift memorial, which is at the shooting scene on the corner of Tuckaseegee Road and Parkway Avenue. Flowers mark the spot where he was found dead.
Loved ones and friends stopped by the memorial all day to pay respect. Many wrote on the posters, while others stood by and cried. Kahlil's family spent time together. He leaves behind his parents, two brothers and a sister; he was the youngest sibling.
We've also learned that two vigils are being planned for Khalil. One will take place tomorrow night and another on Thursday. Both will take place at the site where he was shot. Friends are also planning a memorial for him on Friday.