REIDSVILLE, N.C. (WGHP) — People gathered to remember a bright spirit and the smile of a 10-year-old girl who was shot and killed in Reidsville.

“Laelani was a great little girl, very sweet, loving, caring little girl who made everybody around her smile,” said Stephanie Knight, who taught Laelani when she was in the fourth grade at South End Elementary School. There will be a void at school when students return and Laelanie is not there.

Knight and more than a dozen others gathered along Circle Drive Sunday to say a prayer for Laelanie and her grieving family after Laelani was shot and killed Thursday night in Reidsville. Her 14-year-old cousin has been charged with first-degree murder.

“She loved TikTok like most little 10-year-old girls, she loved to go in my candy jar and just enjoy being a 10-year-old,” Knight said.

Mourners held hands and bowed their heads as they prayed for the family to find peace. “We don’t want them to be devoured by anger or anything of that nature.”

Reidsville Police Department say they found Laelani with a gunshot wound to the head on Sept. 8, while her mother was at work. Her nephew had just moved into their home to avoid going into foster care.

“I don’t hate him. I want to see him. I want to talk to him. I’m going to defend him. My daughter is gone. She’s not coming back and I know she is in a better place but I’m still worried about my nephew. He’s still my nephew and he’s only 14 years old,” Tyler Jeffries said.

A memorial was set up with flowers, balloons, candles and stuffed animals at the intersection of Roach Street and Circle Drive, as a reminder to everyone who passes by about the bright 10-year-old who lost her life.

“She’s really going to be missed by all of her friends and classmates and especially her teachers and family,” Knight said.

“Keep this family in your prayers,” George Gunn, the associate pastor of Elm Grove Baptist Church, said.

Laelani’s mom did not attend the vigil.

Police have not been able to answer how the 14-year-old got the gun, but Jeffries said he did not have it when he moved in with her.