Five-year-old Victor Uriel Laureano-Uriza would race to be the first to greet visitors to his family's home.
It was usually with a hug, said his father, Victor Laureano.
But on Monday night, the boy's family opened the door to a succession of relatives and friends who came to grieve after Victor was hit and killed by a car while trick-or-treating on Saturday.
Police said he was hit about 9:30 p.m. after he got out of a vehicle and ran across Victory Memorial Parkway near Knox Avenue N. A car headed west was unable to stop in time, according to the medical examiner's office and a police incident report released on Monday.
"He was very happy, the life of the house," his father said. "He was very special."
On Monday Victor's father said there was only sadness as the family planned the boy's funeral.
Religious candles flickered Monday night at a memorial alongside the parkway. A wooden cross marked with the word "hijo" was surrounded by balloons, flowers and teddy bears, all in tribute to the kindergartner at Nellie Stone Johnson Elementary who loved sports, especially soccer.
He also loved Transformers and made that his costume of choice when he went trick-or-treating with his brother, sister and cousins. Last year, his uncle took him trick-or-treating for the first time ever. This year, he went with his parents.
According to the police report, when the car Victor was in stopped he got out and ran toward some houses when he was hit.
The motorist stopped and cooperated with police. Authorities haven't released the name of the driver.
Rachel Kurtz said she didn't see the crash in front of her home but spoke with the family and made the memorial cross.
The "mom is broken," said Robin Kurtz, a resident who spoke with the family. "That family is so devastated because that's their baby."
Victor was the ringleader who often cajoled his older sister and younger brother to play, his father said. And he was looking forward to a new brother due in February.
A vigil near the parkway memorial will be held at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday. Funeral services will be held Wednesday at Morris Nilsen Funeral Chapel in Richfield.
A fund on behalf of the family has been established. Checks can be mailed to Robbinsdale United Church of Christ, 4200 Lake Road, Robbinsdale, MN 55422.