Iquan Williams' parents clung to each other with all the strength they had left. From a well of anguish so dark, there is no light to guide them from here. Their light is gone.
"Our son was bright," mom Tianna Green said. "He had a full life ahead of him."
Williams was just 16 years old. Last Saturday night, he went to a party in Brownsville. His younger brother Zaire read on Facebook that someone was planning to fire a gun into the party, and his parents reached out to him to tell him not to go, but it was too late. Williams was shot in the head around 10:30 p.m.
"You don't know what you took away from us," dad Keith Williams said. "You all didn't even know my son, and for no reason, he's dead for nothing. It's senseless."
The family got support and love Wednesday night from a community ravaged by gun violence. They had planned the meeting at the National Action Network to coincide with the third anniversary of the shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.
Just about everyone there had been touched by gun violence, not in faraway Arizona, but much closer to home. Iquan wanted more than anything to escape, Green said.
"'Mom, I want to get up on out of this hood,'" she said. "Even his friends say for him to be 16, he spoke ahead of his years."
His mother said Iquan sent them a message that he would be home soon and told her he loved her.
"We don't sleep at night," she said. "There's no more sleeping. Please, Iquan did not deserve this. My family did not deserve this."
His parents say they don't believe Iquan was the target.
"You all let shots go, and people don't come back," Keith Williams said. "You all don't think about that."