‘It’s just like half of my heart is gone’: Friends remember 21-year-old killed in Conway area shooting

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HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) - The victim of a deadly shooting last week in the Conway area is being remembered for his sense of humor.

Authorities identified the victim as 21-year-old Charles Hemingway. His friends called him CeeJay.

“It’s just like half of my heart is gone," Hemingway’s close friend Jay Barr said. "That’s half of my heart right there.”

Barr said Hemingway was like a brother to him, and they were neighbors for five years.

“Now I’ve gotta walk outside everyday and across the street and see my dog ain’t even here no more,” Barr said.

Police said the shooting happened on Mayfield Drive right outside of Conway on the evening of Nov. 29.

Officials said the shooting was the result of an altercation. They also said Hemingway was taken to Conway Medical Center where he later died.

Barr said he and Hemingway were supposed to hangout that night, and WMBF News asked him if he knew of anything that could have led to the shooting.

“He didn’t tell me anything, he seemed like the normal person he usually do, ya know asking bro ‘what’s the move today?’ ‘what are we gonna do today?’," Barr said.

He said a little later, he saw police cars and an ambulance pass by his home.

“And I was wondering they don’t usually be out here like that so I walked around the corner and they told me he was dead,” Barr said.

This isn’t the first shooting to happen in this neighborhood either.

“Three years ago I lost my father," neighbor Atilya Smith said. "Somebody shot him and threw him out in the yard.”

Smith also said she grew up with Hemingway, riding the same bus together throughout school.

“He was funny, sweet, a good-hearted person and definitely didn’t deserve that,” she said.

As for the community, she said it’s changed over the years.

“I remember when I was in elementary school and people used to come outside and play around, you didn’t have to worry about no body shooting, fighting, none of that and then today everything’s changed," she said.

Barr said Hemingway’s birthday was next week.

“He was gonna turn 22,” he said.

He said he plans to get a tattoo in his memory.

As for the future of the community, there’s one thing Smith wants to see happen.

“Put down the guns, stop the gun violence," she said.

Horry County police are still looking for a suspect in the deadly shooting, identified as Aarin Jamal Michael, but commonly known as “AJ."

Michael is approximately 6-foot-4 and 170 pounds. He is known to have a tear drop tattoo under his right eye as well as multiple other tattoos on his neck and body.

Anyone with information on where he might be is asked to call HCPD at 843-915-5350 or 843-248-1520.

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