The family of a 21-year-old aspiring rapper who was shot in downtown London last year, spoke Friday of the heartache they have endured since his death.

Terrell Johnson was killed after being caught up in a fight.

It’s a case that highlights the escalating issue of gun violence in the downtown.

Darrien Hinkson-Harris, 22, of Kitchener, pleaded guilty to manslaughter, aggravated assault and other gun charges.

He was in court Friday at a sentencing hearing.

He heard of the heartache and pain of Johnson’s mother Denise and brother Tyson.

"This is such a tragedy. It should never have happened. I pray that these boys turn their lives around," Denise Minderlein said.

“I hope the justice system prevails. With the gun situation, having loaded guns in your car is just senseless."

His brother Tyson says not a day goes by that he doesn't stop and smile when he thinks of his brother.

“My brother liked everyone. I didn't know how to like people like that. I called him weird…and I started to realize this guy has a heck of a heart.”

Tyson said he has been able to forgive.

"Although they took my brother...I realize they were just looking for respect and looking for power in the wrong places."

Johnson was shot three times during the Western Homecoming weekend in 2012 after getting into a fight with Hinkson-Harris.

During the hearing, Crown attorney Brian White said that Hinkson-Harris knew what he was doing.

"He brought a loaded handgun to a fist fight. The deceased had no firearm - no weapons at all."

The Crown is asking that Hinkson-Harris serve 14 to 15 years, while the defence wants 10 to 12 years. Justice Jeanine LeRoy is expected to hand down her sentence on January 10.

A second man charged with being an accessory after the fact in conneciton with the death has also pleaded guilty and will be sentenced next year.