'I love him': Parents remember son fatally shot by brother in tragic accident

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Seven months ago, Joshua Bradley graduated from Wheatley High School and made his parents proud. His parents said he always had a smile and wanted others to smile as well.

"He could make anything into a joke," said his father Elwyn Bradley.

Joshua and his brother, John, shared a close bond and lived with their mother Joy Tillman. Last year, John got a gun and took a safety class when they moved to a new neighborhood.

"(John) thought he was the big man of the house and wanted to protect me and Joshua," Tillman said.

Their life would change forever Saturday morning.

"They gave me a kiss and told me about their day," Tillman added.

A few minutes later, she said she heard a gunshot. John was locking up his gun and was trying to get the bullet out of the chamber when it fired.

Tillman grabbed her son and held him, but it was too late. Investigators said a single bullet hit Joshua in the head, killing him instantly.

"I can't hold him now. If I could, I would have laid on that floor forever with him," she said as tears moved down her face.

Joshua was also a part of ABC13's Chauncy Glover's mentoring program, The Chauncy Glover Project, during its inaugural year in Houston.

PHOTOS: Remembering Joshua Bradley

"Josh was such a bright young man. He was smart and very determined to be something in life," Glover said. "Whether it was unloading my car or passing out materials, Josh was always willing to help. He was the jokester of our first CGP class. He kept us laughing."

Investigators have called the shooting a tragic accident.

Tillman's last words to her son were, "I love you."

"I won't have that in the evenings," she added.

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