Family honors 10-year-old Aidyn Hansen after he was shot in South Beloit

Published: Sep. 17, 2023 at 11:32 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - After 10-year-old Aidyn Hansen’s life was taken away far too early, his family comes together to share their favorite memories of watching him grow up.

When police arrived to a reported shooting in the 200 block of Townline Avenue in South Beloit, they discovered Aidyn suffering from a gunshot wound. He was later pronounced deceased at a local hospital. Now, his family wants to spread the word about how caring and bright he was.

“There’s not going to be another person, child or anything like that,” said Ashley Gray, Aidyn’s mom. “He was one of a kind.”

“I never got to take him fishing,” said David Gray, Aidyn’s grandfather.

When describing 10-year-old Aidyn Hansen, his family uses words like bright, giving and kind. On Sept. 15, his family says that bright light was stripped away from them.

“He always put everybody ahead of himself, he always cared about everyone’s feelings,” said Melinda Rojas, Aidyn’s aunt.

“He saw the positive everywhere, he kept everybody smiling and he would want us to move on and continue shining bright like he did,” said Brittney Szambelan, Aidyn’s great aunt and Godmother.

“Sweetest child you’d ever met,” said Tonya Colborn, Aidyn’s grandmother. “His life was infectious.”

“Kindest kid I’ve ever known,” David said. “He’d give his shirt off his back to anybody.”

Aidyn’s fourth grade teacher shared a note about her student and why everyone wanted to be his partner in class.

“He was loved by his classmates. At first, the kids didn’t know how to take him. He never cared about fitting in or following the crowd. He was kind, he was always a peacemaker in our class, a calming force and a sweet smile. Aidyn was happiest when he was helping other and sharing things. I can partner him with anyone, and everyone was happy to be his partner. He was missed when he was absent, and the kids celebrated when he came back to school. kids would gather around his locker in the morning, and I would hear them say, ‘Aidyn’s back, Aidyn’s here!’ He was also very bright, he loved to learn. We had what we called a bubblegum brain. He didn’t give up on things easily. He did mind stretching and growing and trying even when things got hard. He would have grown to be the best man.”

Aidyn wanted to be a Youtube influencer. His mom says it’s to make the world a better place.

“Tell us how to make macaroni or his famous is making ramen, step by step, even how to open the package, or chopping wood,” Ashley said.

Even at their young ages, Aidyn’s family says his two-year-old brother and six-year-old sister will feel their loss deeply. Aidyn was teaching her how to read.

“The loss of somebody like that hurts so many because he would have been a huge asset to the whole world,” Tonya said.

During a Sunday night vigil to honor Aidyn’s legacy, Ashley and David say they lost their best friend.

“Every time I think about getting angry, I can’t because that’s not who he is,” Ashley said. “He would say mommy it was an accident, mom you have to forgive.”

“I can’t believe it,” David said. “In the blink of an eye. You never think it’s going to happen until it does.”

“Nothing is guaranteed, nothing is promised,” Melinda said. “Let them know how much you love them; how proud you are of them.”

According to Ashley, his last words were “I love you.”

“When he was first born and I held him, I knew he was something special,” David said.

For those who would like to support Aidyn’s family, they have a GoFundMe and Meal Train set up.