Curtis Jackson was only seven.
"He was mature in a good way," said one teacher.
Mature and wise beyond his years.
"Everybody learned something from Curtis; how he respected and loved people," said Hayneville Road Elementary School principal Ronald Grace.
Jackson was shot just a few feet from his home on Gibbs Drive on New Year's Eve and died the next day. Montgomery Police say the suspect fired the gun for celebration. Authorities have charged Darnell Addison with capital murder. A Montgomery County judge denied Addison's bond today during a court hearing.
At Hayneville Road Elementary, the new year will not begin on a happy note for Jackson's friends and teachers.
"We have a long road ahead of us. We will have counselors working with the children," said Grace.
A recent classroom video shows Jackson having fun with classmates. One teacher called Curtis Jackson a 'shining light,' one that apparently touched so many lives in such a short time.