Family, friends celebrate life of Horry County shooting victim on 22nd birthday

Family, friends celebrate life of Horry County shooting victim on 22nd birthday

HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) - Family and friends came together to celebrate the life of a shooting victim who died one week before his birthday.

Charles Hemingway, also known as “Ceejay," would’ve been 22 years old on Friday but his life was taken too soon. And though he wasn’t there physically to celebrate his birthday, his mom said she knew he was watching over them.

“I love you mother, to infinity and back," Hemingway’s mother, Gwendolyn Moody, said. "I love you mother.”

Those were the last words she heard from her son.

“It’s hard and the family is still hurt," said Elizabeth Bowens, president of South Carolina Mother’s Against Violence. "And we’re still grieving because they haven’t found the guy that’s taken his life.”

Bowens is not only the president of the organization, but she’s also Hemingway’s aunt.

Horry County police are still looking for the suspect in this case, Aarin Jamal Michael, known as AJ. Authorities said he fired a gun at Hemingway last Friday and took off.

Aarin Jamal ‘AJ’ Michael, 26, is wanted in connection to a homicide.
Aarin Jamal ‘AJ’ Michael, 26, is wanted in connection to a homicide. (Source: HCPD)

And though loved ones can’t hold on tight to Hemingway, they just hope for justice.

“He took something that we can never get back for senselessness and it has to stop,” Moody said.

Bowens said unfortunately many mothers in South Carolina have experienced the same pain that Moody is going through. She said her organization brings together all of the mothers who have lost something they’ll never be able to replace.

“What we do is go around an embrace each other because we know the pain," she said. "It’s not like they were sick and lost their lives, their lives were taken from them by a gun.”

Though Hemingway is gone, he’s certainly not forgotten.

Horry County police ask if you have any information on Michael’s whereabouts or can help with the investigation, give them a call at 843-915-8477.

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