00:50 - Source: Asbury Park Press
6-year-old always had smile on his face

Story highlights

Brandon Holt, 6, was shot in the head by a 4-year-old playmate on Monday

He was pronounced dead at a New Jersey hospital the next day

His father tells the Asbury Park Press that the family chose to donate the boy's organs

"We (hope) it would help carry his name, that he's helping somebody," he says

CNN —  

Brandon Holt didn’t make it to his 7th birthday. He won’t graduate high school, won’t get married, won’t have kids of his own.

But in a way, he will live on.

The father of the Toms River, New Jersey, boy – who died earlier this week after being shot by his young playmate – said he and his wife decided to donate Brandon’s organs, in hopes some good will come of their tragedy.

“We both decided that it would help carry his name, that he’s helping somebody,” Ron Holt told the Asbury Park Press.

Brandon was playing in and around his 4-year-old friend’s Toms River home on Monday evening when the younger child left the yard and went inside, police explained. The little boy came back outside with a .22-caliber rifle.

Before the play date, the gun talk

“A shot went out, and the 6-year-old was struck in the head,” police Chief Michael Mastronardy said.

The next day, at 5 p.m., Brandon was pronounced dead at Jersey Shore Medical Center in Neptune.

The Atlantic County prosecutor’s office is leading the investigation to determine whether charges will be filed in the case and, if so, against whom, Mastronardy said earlier this week.

Reporters from the Asbury Park Press, a local newspaper, went back to the Holts’ neighborhood to talk to people there about Brandon.

Tim Suppa, a boy himself, recalled how Brandon always had a “cute little smile on his face” and never showed a hint of being upset.

The late boy’s uncle, Randy Holt, told the newspaper that Brandon was “a gift.”

“Unfortunately, nothing will bring him back,” he said.

CNN’s Greg Botelho contributed to this report.