BRIDGEPORT - It's been one year since Clinton Howell, 12, was shot and killed on his front porch. Howell was not the intended target.
His family and friends held a joyful celebration of life in his honor. They still are grieving for the young man taken far too soon.
"He was a good person. He had a good soul," said Gamel Dawkins.
Clinton Howell’s father and his brother’s, Dawkins and Greg May Jr. stood before his memorial to remember the precious life taken from them on December 18, 2018.
"He’s not here with us but everyone here is showing support and being here it’s kind of all we need in this time," said Dawkins.
Howell would have been turning 14 in January. The past year has been difficult on the family as they try to make sense of the senseless violence that could have been avoided.
"Instead of having resentment, I leave it in god’s hands and kind of live life how he would like as being happy and making others happy," said May Jr.
Howell was walking home from convenience store with his Cousin when a stolen SUV with four suspects drove by them.
According to the arrest warrant, Howell's cousin admitted to firing a pellet gun at the SUV. The cousin said they shouted a derogatory term at him. He told police he had a social media beef going with the driver of the car.
The car backed up down the street. That's when police say 18-year-old Tajay Chambers fired out the back window killing Howell.
"He took something from us. Right now we wouldn’t be having this day if he didn’t do what he did," said May Jr.
Chambers was charged with murder. Howell's family says a deal has been in the works to reduce Chambers' charge to manslaughter because Howell was not the intended target. Something they say leaves them feeling slighted.
"He can go enjoy his Christmas living. We can’t have that," said May Jr.
United with family and friends, his brothers celebrated the way he’d have wanted.
"He laughed and he just wanted everyone around him to have a good time. We’re going to do that tonight in his honor," said Dawkins.
The family says the support they’ve received during this difficult time has been huge. It has helped them heal and move forward.
Chambers is going through the pretrial process. He will appear in court again on January 30.