LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- It was a bittersweet day for the family of an 8-year old boy killed by gun violence. They spent Tuesday celebrating the life of Andre O'Neal Jr., who died on Jan. 10, 2016.

They called him "Baby Dre," and the day was all about celebrating his life.

"On Dec. 10, a star was born," said Andre's aunt, Gina O'Neal as she read from a poem she wrote. "He could light up any room with his beautiful smile."

O'Neal isn't a poet, but it helps describe the joy and pain her family feels.

"The tears was flowing, and the words were too," she said. "It made us closer and stronger."

Closer and stronger, but still in pain, so family members spent the day together, surrounded by love and pictures of "Baby Dre."

Andre was shot and killed after being dropped off at a babysitter's home.

"Since day one, I have always felt like it wasn't an accident," O'Neal said.

Elgin Anders is charged with reckless homicide in the case. A day after the shooting, he told WDRB News he was trying to put his gun away when it accidentally fired.

"We was grilling and everything, I came out to look at the grill, I had a little barbecue sauce on my fingers," he said. "I licked the sauce off my fingers, [the gun] slipped right out of my fingers."

"He just kept saying it was an accident," O'Neal said. "He didn't mean to do it, but he never said sorry."

The case is now working its way through the court system, and family members believe justice will come from the system or a higher power.

"Even if we don't get justice within the court system, we'll get justice on judgment day," O'Neal said.

Until then, they'll continue celebrating the life of their little angel.

"Heaven's newest angel, and his name is Baby Dre," O'Neal read from her poem. "I pray we'll see you again at the white pearly gates."

Anders is scheduled to be back in court next month for another per-trial hearing.

Related Stories:

Copyright 2017 WDRB Media. All rights reserved