Six-year-old Jasir Lightfoot's nightmare makes perfect, sickening sense.

On July 27, his cousin Terrence "Terre" Adams walked to a store in East Germantown and never came back. The Parkway High senior was killed at a playground, say police, by a bullet that may have been meant for someone else.

A few nights later, Jasir - nicknamed "Little Terre" because the two boys were inseparable - wakes weeping.

"Jasir said that in the dream him and Terre was going to the store for ice cream," says his grandmother Lisa Lightfoot, "and they both got shot."

As the bewildered, grieving adults who loved Terre try to understand, the little ones seem especially lost.

Last Thursday, Tamir Garner, 4, is among those who crowded into Terre's Blakemore Street home to inscribe a pair of And 1 sneakers donated by community activist Sonny Hill's basketball league, where Terre had worked part time.

Tamir, Terre's nephew, eagerly grabs a marker. Then says sadly, "I can't make letters," and surrenders the shiny shoe.

At the teen's funeral, Sonny Hill describes Terre as a youth "who knew how to move in the right direction." Others remember him as a happy, generous young man who wanted to be a graphic artist, loved basketball, and had a soft spot for small children.

A favorite was nephew Marquan Washington. At the cemetery, the 8-year-old runs ahead of the coffin to confer with cemetery workers and to peer into the hole - as if casing the gravesite could afford him any control over the violence that passes for everyday life in Philadelphia these days.

As the coffin is lowered, Marquan stands between Jasir and Tamir, his arms draped protectively around their small shoulders.

Two hours after Terre was killed in a melee in which three others were shot, the mayor called for an end to the violence. It gave Terre's neighbor Eric Gates, 12, hope.

"I think the mayor should get all these guns and violence off the streets now," he says.

Eric shot hoops with Terre, and loved when the teen chased him.

"We always played like that," he says. "Until now."

Contact staff photographer April Saul at 215-854-2872.