Aprile Hatch heard the gunshots that killed her son.

But she didn't know it right away.

She heard the gunfire ricocheting through the neighborhood near 410 S. Hollowell St., where she lived with her children.

"I got home at about 12:51, 12:53 that night," Hatch said. "As soon as I got in the house, it was no more than probably five or six minutes later, me and my youngest son heard gunshots. But they sounded like they were off in the distance, so we didn't pay any attention."

Then, the shots got closer.

"I would say probably about five, six seconds later, we heard gunshots right at the front door," Hatch said. "I mean, you could tell the bullets were hitting the door. They were loud. Me and my youngest son took cover, and four or five seconds later we hear more gunshots, but they're running throughout the apartment complex, and you can hear it."

Then, she heard the moaning.

"You could tell they were close," Hatch said. "You could hear them gurgling, gasping for air."

She dialed 911, and told the dispatcher that her apartment had been shot up and they needed to come get whoever was on her front porch.

And then, her son pulled back the blinds.

There, lying on her front stoop, was her 18-year-old son Desconte Bryant.

"When I opened up my screen door, that's when I see my son laying on the porch in his suit," Hatch said.

Bryant had been at the Dillard Alumni building at a JROTC event and had just returned home.

He spoke to his mother only hours before, while she was at work, to tell her where he would be and what he was doing.

He was shot at about 1 a.m., only minutes after his mother returned home herself.

"I stepped outside and got on my knees, and I couldn't do nothing but just put my hands on him," Hatch said. "The police told me I couldn't really touch him like I wanted to because it was a crime scene, but I couldn't do nothing but put my hands on him and let him know that I was there and just tell him to breathe and not go to sleep."

Then, they saw Bryant's wounds. His head was severely damaged.

"It looked like half his head was gone at the top," Hatch said. "I couldn't do nothing but scream out after that."

About a day later, on May 28, Bryant was disconnected from life support at Vidant Medical Center in Greenville where he took his last breath.

Hatch said he died immediately after life support was pulled.

On Saturday evening, gathered in front of the very porch Bryant was gunned down -- now lined with a candlelight -- his friends and family gathered to honor his memory and make it known that they want justice.

His family, classmates, city councilmembers and community members all gathered to make it known that they are not going anywhere.

"I want it to be a warning -- not a notice, a warning," said classmate Christina Richardson. "We're going to come two times harder for his justice, we aren't going to stop."

Richardson knew Bryant for about eight months before he died.

His classmates describe him as a smart and driven young man who was a fighter with a magnetic personality that set him apart.

And they feel like people don't want to look at the events of that night and face them.

They feel like his name is being silenced -- and they are determined to not let that happen.

"I just want to make it clear that Desconte was not in a gang. A lot of people are saying this was gang affiliation, it was not," Richardson said. "I understand the fear, but my boy deserves justice. He doesn't deserve silence. A lot of times people say he was in a gang because they want it to go away, but it won't go away because his name will not be silenced."

Richardson was at Vidant Medical Center with Bryant's family when he died.

She vividly remembers how she got the news he was shot and the next day or so after.

And, too, she remembers when Bryant died.

"To see him take his last breath was the hardest thing I ever had to do," Richardson said.

Rodney Robinson, another classmate of Bryant's who helped organize the vigil Saturday evening, said he hoped it would bring the murder back into the community conversation and that someone with information would come forward to help solve the homicide.

"Why would somebody shoot my son?" Hatch said. "I know he didn't do anything to deserve that. He was a good boy, we don't live that type of lifestyle."

Classmates and family members embraced each other as people shared memories of Bryant.

They remembered how he made them feel, how he supported them, how he was unique and was always himself no matter what.

And they feel like a promising life was extinguished far too early, and that someone with a wholly promising future had it snatched away in the blink of an eye.

They are pressing anyone with information to come forward and to put this unsolved case to rest.

"I know that the situation is scary, because when you're telling on somebody in a situation like that of course you're going to fear for your life, and I understand," Hatch said. "But my son is innocent. He didn't do anything wrong. He was just in the right place at the wrong time."