BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Nearly 100 community members gathered Thursday night to honor the life of 12-year-old, Sammy Lee, who was struck and killed by a truck during a police chase on Old Hammond Hwy. Wednesday evening.
His mother's love was raw and uncontrollable as it poured out for her child.
It's was hard for Michelle Terrance to hold back the tears as her family and friends gathered to remember the life of her son just feet from where he lost his life Wednesday night. Terrance says it's still a lot to take in.
"I've been so numb and just in total shock," Terrance said. "It seems like I'm okay. I'm okay, but I'm not okay."
Lee was hit and killed as police say Joshual Hilton, 32, tried to run from officers during a narcotics investigation. The pre-teen was an innocent bystander who was just trying to cross the road at the time.
While the investigation into exactly what happened continues to unfold, Lee's mother says she wants answers.
"Some are saying the police did it and some are saying the guy in the truck did it. I just want everything to come up so I can get answers for my closure and my family's closure," Terrance added.
The vigil though, was not about how he died, but rather how the pre-teen lived. Everyone at the gathering remembered him as a bright young man with a big smile and an even bigger heart.
Connie Verrette says Sammy and her grandson would play basketball all the time. The young boy laid the ball they played with at the growing memorial for his friend.
"He has become like a grand baby to me," Verrette said. "When they told me it was Sammy, it like broke my heart. I've been praying all night for them and everything. It was real emotional for me because he was so close."
Verette says her heart goes out to this mother and her family, saying Sammy was truly one of a kind. "He was such a wonderful child," Verrette added.
As the candles burn for the young man, his mother says only her faith will get her through this unspeakable tragedy. "I have my moments, but it's like God is giving me the strength to do this and I'm trying to be calm for my family," said Terrance.
Terrance told 9News they have not finalized any funeral arrangements for her son, but that she wants him to be buried in New Roads, her family's hometown.