The light is on and shoes are left by the front door waiting for Dakota Smith.
"I try and do the best I can and I keep praying like I have every day and night," said Pamela Cash.
Pamela Cash, Dakota's mom, knows he is not coming home and her grief is heavy.
"Dakota wore his heart on his sleeve and he was a really sweet son," she said.
She is not sure why anyone would hurt, let alone, kill her 15-year-old son.
"We are just hanging in there and trying to stick together," she said.
She said Dakota was at a friend's house while she went to the store. He was supposed to meet her at home when she got back.
"I got home and he wasn't there," she said.
She waited a few minutes, and as she began to worry she got the terrible news.
"Someone had said my son was shot and I said no and I ran as fast as I could to get where he was at," she said.
Bradenton Police got the call just before 9 p.m. on 13th Avenue East.
"There were gunshots heard," said Deputy Chief Warren Merriman.
Just a block away from his home.
"Witnesses do describe one to three subjects running from the scene," said Deputy Chief Merriman.
Officers spent the night talking to witnesses and collecting evidence.
"He was just enjoying his life," said neighbor Charles Price.
He remembers Dakota as a helpful kid.
"He would come and help me get my groceries out of the car. We would sit here and talk about the Bible. Me and him, he was a nice guy, nice kid," he said.
Price, like Dakota's mom, wonders why anyone would hurt or even kill the teen.
"We all got dreams but his dreams deferred, his dreams is dead," he said.
Bradenton Police ask anyone with information on Dakota's death to contact: Bradenton Police Detective James Curulla at 941-747-3011 Ext.2224 or to remain anonymous and be eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000, call Crime Stoppers (toll free) at 1-866-634-8477(TIPS) or send an anonymous E-Tip thru the web to www.manateecrimestoppers.com
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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