The mother of Halifax's first murder victim of the year is urging the person -- or people -- responsible to turn themselves in.

Nineteen-year-old Triston Reece was fatally shot in the city's west end Friday afternoon.

Even through her grief, Dale Russell remains a proud mother, one who's always got time to talk about her son even as she makes arrangements to bury him.

"People say, 'oh, she's so brave,' and 'she's so strong,'" Russell said. "No, I'm not. If I had my way, I would go up in my room and shut my door and never come out, but I can't do that. I'm a single mom, and he was my only child. I don't have that option."

Shots rang out on Scot Street, quiet street in the city's west end late Friday afternoon. Reece was taken to hospital with what police described as "life-threatening injuries and he died just after midnight early Saturday morning.

"No mother should stand over her child and I told Triston that in the hospital," Russell said. "'You're to stand over me, I'm not to stand over you.' This is not the right cycle of life."

A dedicated and talented football player, Reece had big goals in life: a career in the CFL or NFL and those close to him say he just might have done it.

"On a scale of 1 to 10, he was a 10," said Mike Tanner, Reece's coach at Citadel High School in Halifax.

Tanner remembers Reece hurt his knee in Grade 11 and the star linebacker was devastated about letting his teammates down.

"One of the kids went up and talked to him and said the reason he's crying is the fact that he couldn't contribute to the game," Tanner said.

Reece was a go-getter with laser-like focus to achieve his goals and was confident he would have achieved greatness.

Russell said her son talked about his big dreams and recalls one drive home from school.

"'Mom, I'm gonna be in the NFL," Reece told his mom.

"I said, 'that's a nice dream," Russell said. "He said 'no, no mom, that's not a dream, that's what I'm gonna do."

With the police investigation ramping up, Russell has turned to her faith to help her through every parent's worst nightmare.

And, while she's confident investigators will pursue every avenue, she's hopeful they won't have to.

"I don't know what happened," Russell said. "All I know is, he wasn't in the car alone."

She asked anybody who might know who killed her son to speak up.

"Anybody that knows anything, be a man, be a woman. Go the police. Tell them what happened," Russell said.

She also had a message for the killer.

"Come to me. Tell me what happened. If you were the shooter and you want to come and talk to me, I've already forgiven you, and I mean that from the bottom of my heart," Russell said. "When you close your eyes at night, you see my son. When you close your eyes at night, you hear my voice. That you are so haunted that you just walk into the Halifax Regional Police and turn yourself in."

At this point, Halifax police still have no suspects in the case. They continue to ask anyone with information to share it.

Besides being united in grief, coach Tanner and Russell have one other thing in common:  their determination to keep this kind of thing from happening again.

The coach says he'll consult with others in the football program to see what else can be offered to young players.  As she finalizes her son's funeral, Russell is certainly on board.

With files from CTV Atlantic's Bruce Frisko.