'I just wish that I could wake up and he would be there'

SEDRO-WOOLLEY, Wash. -- It's been one week since 4-year-old Dwayne Kerrigan shot and killed himself after getting his hands on a gun inside his Sedro-Woolley home.

Police believe the gun belonged to convicted felon Trevor Braymiller, a longtime boyfriend to Dwayne's mother. Braymiller, who was not legally allowed to have a gun, fled after the shooting but turned himself in the next day.

"It was a nightmare," Jennifer Brittain, Dwayne's grandmother. "I just wish that I could wake up and he would be there."

Since he's been gone, Brittain says she wakes up in tears every morning and cries herself to sleep at night.

"He was robbed -- he was robbed of his life," she said.

The community is remembering the big personality behind Dwayne's precious little face. Like any little boy, Dwayne loved toy cars.

"He'd stuff his pockets of his pants and jacket with Hot Wheels," Kerrigan said.

But he also had his challenges.

"Dwayne was diagnosed as high functioning autistic," Kerrigan said.

He'd made big progress in learning to express his emotions. Now, it's his grandmother's turn.

"I would like to be more involved in promoting gun safety and education," she said.

As for her feelings toward Trevor Braymiller:

"He'll have to live with this for the rest of his life," Kerrigan said.

Dwayne only got four years of life, but his life was proof of his mother's favorite saying: Autistic kids are different not less.

"Every time we parted, I would kiss him goodbye and say, 'see you soon,' " Kerrigan said.

Dwayne's funeral will held Wednesday in Sedro-Woolley and is open to the public.

Meanwhile, Braymiller is expected to face charges related to Dwayne's death.