ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Family, friends, teachers, and students celebrated the life of Bennie Hargrove – the 13-year-old Washington Middle School student who was shot and killed on campus three weeks ago. Hargrove’s death has rattled the Albuquerque community, but people who knew him praised the teen’s life and honored his memory.

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There was singing, laughter, hugs, and tears at Bennie Hargrove’s funeral service. Family, friends, teachers, and fellow classmates celebrated Hargrove’s life. They talked about his love for his family as well as playing basketball and boxing. Thirteen doves were released, representing the number of years he lived.

“I want you to encourage you to feel the pain, I want to encourage you to receive God’s hope and I want to encourage you by honoring Bennie’s memory by giving God’s love away to others,” said a speaker during the funeral. People in attendance were devastated Hargrove was gone and heartbroken about how he died.

Investigators said Hargrove was standing up to a bully, fellow 13-year-old Washington Middle School student Juan Saucedo, Jr. Police said Hargrove told Saucedo, Jr. to not pick on his friends. That’s when police said Saucedo, Jr. pulled out a gun, shot Hargrove several times, and killed him.

“I’ve heard from more than one person that Bennie was ‘Bold Bennie’ but I’ve also heard a new nickname for him and that’s ‘Brave Bennie,'” said a speaker. Hargrove has been hailed a hero by police and friends and his death has weighed heavily on the community.

“Let them know there’s no need to be sorry because he’s in a better place than we are,” said a speaker at the funeral. But people said they’ll remember the impact the teen had on their lives, forever.

Saucedo, Jr. has been charged for killing Hargrove and will stay behind bars until his trial.