EAST CHICAGO, Ill. — It doesn’t really feel like the holiday season for a Northwest Indiana family whose 7-year-old boy was shot and killed this summer.

In the early morning hours of July 12, mother Ollie Holliness was driving a van with her four sons and niece inside. After stopping at a gas station near Columbus Drive, multiple shots erupted while she was driving in the 3500 block of Block Avenue.

Jeremiah Moore, 7, was in the back in his car seat. As Holliness told the children to take cover, Moore was shot in the head.

“My 9-year-old son was the first to notice we were getting shot at,” Holliness said. “The kids thought it was fireworks at first.”

Holliness, a concealed carry holder, returned fire from the van in an effort to protect her family.

Naturally panicking in the moment, the mother drove to a nearby fire station after realizing Jeremiah was shot.

“I didn’t know where exactly the hospital was, just by passing by it,” she said. “After a few moments of banging and screaming for help, nobody came to the door. We turned around and went to the hospital.”

The boy was pronounced dead at St. Catherine’s Hospital.

Holliness said her other children are having a hard time adjusting to the loss and that the season doesn’t feel cheerful at all without him.

“They are trying to open up more,” Holliness said. “My 5-year-old that was in the car thinks his brother is coming back.”

Jeremiah “absolutely loved” Christmas.

“He knew he was going to get video games, he was going to get whatever he wanted,” she said. “I feel like I gave him the best life ever.”

Around a month before he was shot, Jeremiah expressed to his parents that he wanted to protest gun violence after a 16-year-old boy was shot and killed in Millennium Park.

Jeremiah (L) at protest

“He active in basketball,” his mother said. “Between his sports, siblings, video games and dad — he was happy and content.”

Holliness said she’s been in contact with a detective, but there has not been many updates in the case.

She told WGN News the vehicle that shots were fired from was a red Dodge Charger with black-tinted windows and black-tinted rims. The driver was a heavy set African American, between 20 and 30, with dreadlocks, according to Holliness.

Jeremiah’s mother said she just wants justice for Christmas.

No one is in custody. Anyone with information can leave an anonymous tip at 219-391-8318.