Updated:PINE HILLS, Fla. —
"Bittersweet" is how 16-year-old Danielle Sampson's mother, Alma Fletcher, sums up her family's year of ups and downs.
One year ago Monday, on Fletcher's birthday, the family was driving home from church on Powers Drive when Danielle was hit in the head by a stray bullet.
Tyrone Mosby was convicted of pulling the trigger during a shootout after he robbed a home.
Danielle suffered severe brain damage from the stray bullet and is living with the bullet lodged in the back of her skull and bullet fragments in her brain. Her doctor told Channel 9 last month Danielle has seen small improvements over this last year.
Danielle's family is holding out hope their young basketball star will recover.
"You can't have a happy birthday like this, but she's alive and I have her with me. Many families don't have their loved ones, so I'm grateful," Fletcher said.
Family and friends, community members and local motorcyclists gathered Monday to celebrate Danielle's road to recovery with a parade of motorcycles.
"Unfortunately, it's a very sad situation," Buffalo Soldiers rider David "Radio" Phelan said.
"You coming from church, you think you doing the right thing and look what happened. It's just not right, it's not fair," Felicia May with Sports Riders said.
What Danielle's family thinks is unfair is Mosby's attempt to get a lighter sentence.
"Right now when he is supposed to face sentencing, then he (wants) to be declared incompetent. No part of that is right," Fletcher said.
The family is fighting back with a petition to keep Mosby behind bars.
While they wait to see what the judge decides, the family celebrates little milestones in Danielle's recovery along the way.
"You can clearly tell when she's frowning and when she's smiling, half her cheek goes up," sister Baje Fletcher said. "In my heart I believe she understands."
The event was held to bring attention to the family's desire to have more mentors in the community, with the hopes that mentoring the youth will give them options other than using guns.
"The lives of our children, they matter, so what better way to make noise than to get a bunch of bikers involved from all over, just revving up the sound that our kids matter?" said family friend Shelly Hastings.
The parade ended at the Well of Hope campus, on Indian Hill Road.
Danielle's family said it hopes the judge gives Mosby a stiff sentence so that he stays in jail for the rest of his life.