Community mourns over recent violence - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Community mourns over recent violence

Hours after hearing of yet another Longs teenager being shot and killed, friends, family and everyone else gathered looking for two things; prayers and peace. (Source: Conor McCue). Hours after hearing of yet another Longs teenager being shot and killed, friends, family and everyone else gathered looking for two things; prayers and peace. (Source: Conor McCue).

LONGS, SC (WMBF) - Driving down Highway 90 today, one community's pain was clear to see. Hours after hearing of yet another Longs teenager being shot and killed, friends, family and everyone else gathered looking for two things; prayers and peace.

"We just feel a need to respond. It's tragic and our hearts are broken,” said Wallace Evans Jr. with Chesterfield Baptist Church, the organizers of the vigil.

Today's mourning was because of the loss of 14-year-old Taizaun Dewitt. Police say the North Myrtle Beach Middle School student was shot at a home off Collins Circle in Longs Friday night. He later died at Sea Coast Hospital.

"He loved to make people laugh. He always kept a smile on his face. He was just uplifting,” said girlfriend, Tyreauna Jackson.

The loss cuts extra deep for the community because of what has happened just a few weeks before.

Two weeks ago, 18-year-old Quentin Reeves was shot and killed outside the Party Shop, just a few miles away from last night's incident. 

Wallace Evans Jr. helped organize tonight's vigil because both shootings have rattled the youngest part of the community. “They're afraid to even live in this community. They're afraid to be at home alone,” He said. “No person should be afraid in their own home, in their own community,” Evans added.

With grief counselors, pastors, and school teachers on hand, the community came together to cry, lean on one another, and look for a solution to all the violence. That answer may not come easy, but the community believes it will move on, and do what it can to stop events like last night from ever happening again.

“This continued violence within our community is not acceptable. There is a better way that their lives matter. Their lives have purpose and value is what we are trying to communicate to them,” Evans said. 

One thing the adults encouraged children to do today was to program the Horry County Police Tip Line number into their phones. That way, if they ever hear something or want to come forward with information, police are right at their fingertips.

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