T.J. Darrisaw died Halloween night after police say a convicted felon unleashed a barrage of bullets from inside a home, pumping at least 29 shots through the closed door and front of the house. The boy's father and brother also were wounded.
"The injury to my arm is not as bad as the injury to my heart. I've lost a piece of my heart forever," father Freddie Grinnell Jr. said.
Police said the suspect, Quentin Patrick, 22, opened fire with an AK-47 because he thought he was being robbed. The family went to the home because the porch light was on, usually a signal that trick-or-treaters are welcome.
Two of three siblings who went to the door with their father were wearing ghoulish masks. Their parents said the slain boy was determined to get candy first, so he was in front when the shots were fired.
When the shooting stopped, Mr. Grinnell said, the door swung open. Mr. Patrick stood there, gun in hand, and said, "Oh, no."
"I was holding my son while he was bleeding, and he was backing out of the yard," Mr. Grinnell recalled.
Mr. Patrick, who is charged with murder and three counts of assault and battery with intent to kill, was denied bond Monday. He cried and wiped away a tear as the charges were read. He did not enter a plea and a lawyer has not been assigned to his case yet.
Prosecutors have not said whether they will seek the death penalty, but the police chief in Sumter said she will recommend they do.
T.J.'s parents said they want Mr. Patrick to suffer for a lifetime behind bars.
Mr. Grinnell said he doesn't want an apology.
" 'I'm sorry' does not bring my child back," he said. "I want justice."