LIBERTY, Ohio (WKBN) – Almost a year to the day that he was shot and blinded while sitting at a stop light in Liberty, Zachary Woods has passed away.

Woods’ mother, Natisha Lee, even through her grief, is finding a way to remain positive just as her son did following this tragic incident.

“You can do anything you put your mind to, don’t let nothing stop you,” said Lee.

It’s not always how you deal with what has happened to you, it’s how you react. Woods defined what it meant to live life regardless of what challenges were given to him.

“He was full of joy, full of life, ready for the world,” said Lee.

Woods was still able to find the joys in life. He refused to let what happened to him on June 10, 2022, at the intersection of Belmont Avenue and East Liberty Street, define him.

Woods passed away last week on May 26 from complications of the shooting that permanently took his eyesight, changing his life forever. He was 21 years old.

His mom is so thankful for the last year she was able to spend with her boy.

“We went to get breakfast that morning, he was fine… I didn’t see the signs coming, no one did,” said Lee.

At the time of his death, Woods was working toward his dream of supporting his family through his music.

“Let his legend live on, let his music live on, let his love live on. That was the message from God, truly from God to show you there is a God,” expressed Lee.

To support him, Woods’ family started the non-profit Rage to Blind Awareness, calling attention to blind rage and the actions that can change a life forever.

“A remembrance and dedication to Zachary that will live on, as well as his spirit and his love in my heart,” said Lee.

The man convicted of shooting and blinding Woods and then getting into a shoot-out with Liberty police was sentenced to prison in March. Kevin Mallard, 55, will spend the next 68 to 73 and a half years behind bars after pleading guilty to several charges, including attempted murder.