RICHMOND, Va. -- Three years after a young father was killed by accidental gunfire, loved ones are gathering at his Hillside memorial site.
It was a small gathering Wednesday, but it was a meaningful one. Family member said it was their first time visiting a location where Jordan Lightfoot lost his life, and the emotion and grief are still heavy in their hearts.
“I have a lot of regrets,” Rain Taylor said. She said she had so much to say to her friend Jordan, but she never got the chance.
"This is my daddy,” said young Jahmir, looking at a picture posted there. He had just turned two years old when his father was killed inside the Hillside apartment on October 3, 2015, by a friend playing with a .40 caliber gun.
"It's really tough," Taylor said.
It was also tough for Shaniya Jackson, not only because she's left behind as a single mother to Lightfoot's now five-year-old son, but also because they live here, in the line of sight of what residents call the "huggable tree."
There’s where a memorial was set up after Lightfoot died here, three years ago to the day.
"We pass the tree and if there's trash around it or whatever, my son wants to stop and clean it. It's hard,” said Jackson. "I miss him like crazy."
Every year since his tragic death, Lightfoot's friends and family have come together. But this is the first time at the spot close to the apartment where he was killed, with their emotions hard to put into words.
"I don't know, man, life has been hard these past three years,” said Jackson. "I've forgiven that young man because they were real good friends. He was reckless but I forgive and that's the only way I've found closure."
According to family members, Lightfoot's killer did a year in juvenile detention for manslaughter.
Jackson said she often catches her young son drawing crosses on his arm, because his dad had tattoos, and little Jahmir believes drawing his own crosses means he will see his father in heaven.