TRUSSVILLE, Ala. (WKRG) — From tragedy to action–an Alabama family is healing after a hunting accident that took an 11-year-old boy’s life. In 2020 Troy Ellis was killed by former Mobile County teacher Joshua Burks. Burks plead guilty to reckless manslaughter two weeks ago. The trial in the 2020 death of Troy Ellis culminated two weeks ago in a powerful moment of forgiveness–when the shooter Joshua Burks asked for forgiveness from the boy’s family.

“It was real, he meant it, 100% true and we and I meant what I said, we forgive you as a family,” said Troy Ellis’s father Obed. Burks was sentenced to six months in the Jefferson county jail and three years probation–but the family says the sentence was not as important as the ability to finally grieve their son.

“It doesn’t matter how many days or weeks or months it is, it won’t bring your son back and you have to start healing,” said Ellis. “Troy was an old soul he was an outdoorsman and he loved being around his family. It’s also been a long process to learn not how to get over the tragedy but how to get through the tragedy.

“I still cry every day, I get a little mad every day I get confused but every day we’re able to see God’s glory,” said Obed Ellis.

Turning tragedy into action the family started the Troy Ellis Foundation. Through tournaments and outdoor activities, they want to spread the word of God and help other families by enjoying the outdoors as much as young Troy Ellis did. You can find out more about what they’re putting together through their events page.