The grandparents of a Knox County teen who killed in a shooting last week are mourning and remembering how he lived his life.
Cameron Smith and Lucas Halliburton were shot last Tuesday while riding in a car on West Emory Road. That shooting left Halliburton wounded and Smith dead. Investigators say the shots came from a black Mustang that had been following their car aggressively from somewhere back on Clinton Highway.
Friends held a vigil over the weekend for Smith, remembering his life through words and song. Smith’s grandparents explained Monday how they’re coping with such a devastating loss.
“It’s just very quiet,” said Susan Taylor. “It should never have happened.”
“The house just feels empty,” said Rodney Taylor.
In their family room, they had dozens of pictures out of Cameron, remembering better times they shared with their grandson.
“This is my favorite, favorite picture of the both of them when they came to live with us. That’s Cameron on that side, look at those fat cheeks,” said Susan Taylor.
Every day it seems someone new calls the Taylors with a new story about Cameron.
“He was a gentle soul,” she said.
While his grandparents wrestle with grief, they know it was him saying goodbye last Tuesday as they rushed to the hospital.
“And I heard him in my head, perfectly, his voice and everything saying, ‘Mom. Mom. I’m sorry. I’m okay,'” said Susan Taylor.
The Taylors do not want their grandson remembered by the traumatic shooting. They want him remembered as he was: kind, compassionate and funny.
They also want to know why.
“Whatever happened to Cameron, I want to make sure that these people get what they deserve because he sure didn’t deserve what he got. He had a whole life ahead of him,” added Susan Taylor.
The family believes Cameron is still in their home and that God wanted him for something.
“We all miss him,” said Rodney Taylor.
The Knox County Sheriff’s Office says there is no update to the investigation at this time.