CHARLOTTE, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) - Monday marked one year since a teen's life was cut short by violence. For his family, it feels like it was just yesterday.
17-year-old Daquan Shannon was shot and killed at a QT gas station on Central Avenue last March.
“Just take it one day at a time and keep your head up. Hopefully it'll be alright. I've been going through the year and I’m still not alright,” father Lacosta Shannon said.
Daquan died a year ago when an altercation at this gas station turned deadly.
On Monday, family and friends remembered the kid they all called Slim with a balloon release and ceremony at his gravesite.
Even though this day was a celebration of life, grief still has a tight grip.
“All the love I get, I really can't cry, but I’m not going to lie, I’m in a lot of pain,” Daquan’s mother Tawana Doby, said.
Sadly, the Doby family knows they're not alone. Already this year, 25 people have been killed in Charlotte.
“I can't explain what's going on in Charlotte. This is my city. I was born and raised. I ain't never seen nothing like this,” Lacosta said.
Perhaps no one knows what these families go through more than Commissioner At-Large Pat Cotham.
“You hate to turn the news on to find out if there's another one,” she said.
She attends nearly every homicide victim's funeral including Daquan’s.
“I was shocked she showed up. I didn't know she was going to be there, but she showed up,” said Lacosta.
Cotham says she get a sense of who Daquan was, learning about him from his family and friends.
“I remember after the service I said, 'I miss him, and I didn't even know him," but I learned so much about him and you can tell by his family what kind of a person he was,” Cotham said.
He was athletic, funny and loved. His dad still waits up for him some nights wishing he'd come home before curfew.
The hope of a better tomorrow keeps them going, Shannon is saving them a spot in heaven. Daquan now has a brick on the memorial walkway in Frazier Park as a tribute to his life.