Lillington, N.C. — The family of William Council gathered to mourn and pray on Saturday, four days after the 22-year-old was gunned down on Cedar Grove School Road in Lillington.
Council, who was described by his aunt as the "life of the party," was shot and killed Tuesday evening while walking with his younger brother to a local basketball court.
Brothers Tyrone Allen Hardy, 21, and Davaughn Hardy, 22, and their cousin, 21-year-old William Deshawn Hardy, each face first-degree murder and conspiracy charges in Council's death.
Vicki Council said he was constantly bringing joy to his family. Jowan Council, William's cousin, agreed.
"He was a funny dude," she said. "He always made you laugh."
Authorities have released few details about Council's death, but his family said Saturday that he was shot during an argument that could have been over money.
Vickie Council said her nephew was friends with the men charged in his death.
"He pleaded (with them) to let his brother go, and his brother ran," she said. "He saved his brother's life, and they took his. Some of the things I've been hearing is that he lost his life over $40. Whatever is behind the $40, I don't know. I don't care. His life was worth more than that."
Members of the Council family said they moved to Harnett County from New York more than 30 years ago, when another of their family members was killed.
Council's death is the first homicide in Lillington since 1991. He leaves behind a 1-year-old son and family that said they will miss the happiness he brought to their lives.
"They took someone special from us," Vickie Council said.
Lillington Police Chief Frank Powers said Tuesday that the town won't tolerate this sort of violent crime.
"This is not going to happen here," he said. "It's been a long time – 22 years since this happened. It's going to be 22 more years before it happens again."