Group raising money for Easley teen's funeral - FOX Carolina 21

Group raising money for Easley teen's funeral

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A photo of Brittany Johnson and Daniel Smith. (Courtesy the Johnson family) A photo of Brittany Johnson and Daniel Smith. (Courtesy the Johnson family)
Students and friends pray together for the Daniel and Sandy Smith at Marathon Church. (Sept. 5, 2012/FOX Carolina) Students and friends pray together for the Daniel and Sandy Smith at Marathon Church. (Sept. 5, 2012/FOX Carolina)
GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) -

At 14 years old, Brittany Johnson is obviously familiar with school projects, but the project she's working on now is one she said no teenager should ever have to complete.

"He loved to make people laugh and he loved to make people smile," Johnson said.

The assignment isn't for the classroom, but it comes straight from her heart. On Wednesday, she made a sign for donations for her boyfriend, Daniel Smith, who was killed on Aug. 30.

"It's just the least I can do for him now is to make sure everything now is done right in his honor," Johnson said.

Deputies with the Pickens County Sheriff's Office surrounded Smith's home on Saluda Dam Road last Thursday. Inside, they found Smith and his mother, Sandy Smith, shot to death.

Outside the house, they found the gunman dead too, Daniel Smith's stepfather. Investigators said he killed himself. And just before the shooting, Daniel Smith sent a text message to Johnson.

SLIDESHOW: Mom, teen remembered by family and friends

"At 9:31 p.m., he sent my dad, 'Please come and get me' and that was the last text we got from him," Johnson said.

It's a text message Johnson won't and can't erase, she said. Now Johnson, family and friends are trying to help out with the funeral costs for Daniel Smith and his mother.

Johnson and others will accept donations at Easley High School's football game on Friday, Sept. 7.

Daniel Smith played on the JV team and members of Marathon Church near Powdersville are also raising money and taking donations. Johnson and Daniel Smith spent time there.

"Here we have a mentality of family," said Jamie Hammett, the student pastor at Marathon Church. He said Daniel Smith gave his life to Christ.

"It did give me peace in knowing you know he's with Jesus now," Hammett said.

In honor of Daniel Smith, a group of youth church members gathered outside of the church Wednesday afternoon, said a prayer and released balloons.

"We know right now that Daniel's looking down on us right now rejoicing," Hammett said.

Donations will also be collected at Marathon Church, which is located at 315 Roe Rd. in Greenville. For more information, call 864-220-0632.

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