At Booker T. Washington High School in Tuskegee they are remembering Eric Williams.
Principal A.J. Nelson shared what the junior wrote during a writing assignment one month ago. Based on his words, Eric Willilams was a teenager who wanted to do right, do well and leave a mark.
"I want to be remembered as a sharp man who went to church every Sunday and praised the Lord," Nelson read from Williams' assignment.
Those dreams are gone forever. The teen was shot Monday night in his mother's home in the Brownsville area of Macon County some 20 miles away from Tuskegee.
"He's going to be missed," said Eric's mom, Sharon Williams.
Willliams says a 14-year-old neighbor brought over a .22 pistol thinking the gun didn't work. It's not clear who owned the weapon.
"He came over and told everybody it didn't work. He clicked twice and nothing happened. Eric got it and pointed it at his head and it fired," Williams said.
With a gunshot to the head, Eric died Tuesday morning in Birmingham. The shooting remains under investigation by the Macon County Sheriff's Department.
In reflecting on his life, Williams says her son showed courage in his fight against sickle cell anemia. In spite of his illness, Eric had toyed with the idea of starting a business or becoming an architect.
"He was in and out of hospitals and always in crisis," Williams said.
This is the second death involving a Booker T. Washington student in four months. The first one was a suicide.
"It just makes you appreciate these students even more," Nelson said.
Because of what happened, Sharon Williams has no plans to move back home. In fact, one of the first things she'll do after she buries her son is move away. Right now Williams is staying at a relative's home near Tuskegee.
A mom has lost her son and a school is in mourning and grappling with another sad loss.
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