WAYNESBORO, Ga. (WJBF) — T’Rique McCullough was shot one week ago in the Briarwood Apartment Complex. He died Monday in the hospital. Family, friends, and law enforcement came together for a candlelight vigil at the scene of the crime.

The parking lot was packed with T’Rique McCullough’s closest friends and family to remember the 19-year-old’s life

“My tears are going to be of joy because I know my grandson had a relationship with God,” said Vickey Bates. “I’m not going to cry any tears of sorrow because he wasn’t lost. I cry for the ones who are lost.”

His family says he touched everyone’s lives.

“He was sweet, and he would do anything for you, anything for people; anything for the community,” explained Lorraine Carswell.

T’Rique had a special bond with the community. He was about to join the Marines. He also had a special nickname.

“Whodie,” said Carswell.

“Whodie Osama,” said Louie Gordon.

“Lil Whodie, that was baby, still is my baby,” explained Bates. “I’m just looking forward to meeting him that day.”

T’Rique’s grandmother told NewsChannel 6’s Devin Johnson she hates that her grandson was taken away from her due to gun violence, but she says we have to have more leaders in the community to steer our young men away from trouble.

“We can’t just throw our children away the minute something bad happens,” said Bates. “We have to pray for our young people constantly. Because they are our future.”

T’Rique McCollough was taken from his family and friends far too soon. But everyone here says his spirit lives on.

During the vigil, Vicky Bates thanked the Burke County Sheriff’s Office for all of their hard work after her grandson’s death. His funeral is this Saturday in Waynesboro at noon.

Photojournalist: Will Baker