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ONLY ON 3: Grandmother of slain South Brunswick football player speaks

READ MORE: ONLY ON 3: Grandmother of slain South Brunswick football player speaks

SOUTHPORT, NC (WWAY) -- The death of a South Brunswick High School football player has left a community and family in mourning. Marcus Hankins was supposed to graduate in a few weeks. His grandmother, Eva Holmes says she wants her grandson to be remembered as someone who had a big heart and lit up a room with his presence.

"My last memory of Marcus is telling me at South Brunswick High School, 'Grandma, I got my cap and gown,'" Holmes said. "I said, 'Marcus, I paid for the cap and gown. Let's get across the stage.'"

Holmes got to see her grandson almost every day. She is a janitor at South Brunswick and says she has a feeling she'll be scanning the halls for Marcus, but he won't be there. Hankins was shot to death Saturday night after a wedding reception at the Democratic Headquarters in Bolivia.

He was a senior and a star football player at South Brunswick.

"It was a gift that God gave him," Holmes said. "Some people were taught, and some people have the gift, and he was one of those that was blessed to have the gift of football and use it. He just loved the game."

Holmes says her grandson had a bright future ahead of him. She says Hankins had several offers to play in college, but had one school in mind.

"He spent last weekend at (North Carolina) A&T all day with his mother looking at the campus and speaking to the coaches," Holmes said. "He had high hopes of attending that college."

Holmes says she wants her grandson's death to be a reminder that violence is not the answer.

"We want to remind people that this did happen, and we are not going to let go of it, because we want to save somebody's kid from this happening again," Holmes said. "We don't want to see any other family go through this."

Holmes did not want to comment on the details of her grandson's death.

A public viewing for Hankins is Saturday from 2 to 4 p.m. at the First Baptist Church in Southport. His funeral is Sunday at the South Brunswick High School gymnasium at 3 p.m.

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