‘It feels like a dream, it doesn’t feel real:’ Family mourns 14-year-old shot, killed in Florence County

Published: Jan. 18, 2022 at 10:43 AM EST|Updated: Jan. 18, 2022 at 6:05 PM EST
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FLORENCE COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) – A family is mourning the loss of a 14-year-old boy who was shot and killed in Florence County.

The coroner’s office said Khalil Maximillion Ross died in a shooting on Dordie Circle at some point between Sunday night and Monday morning.

Ross’ stepfather, Harry Charles, said he went to wake up his stepson on Monday morning but found him unresponsive in his room. During the investigation, authorities found a bullet hole through his window. They are now investigating the shooting as a homicide.

“I trust God for the strength, and I’m hurt. I cry by myself, and I cry because he lived in the home with me. I get to see him every day. Now I can’t see him,” said Charles.

Unfortunately for the family, this isn’t their first loss to gun violence. Charles said he lost a son two years ago, and he can’t believe he has to go through the same pain again.

“It feels like a dream. It doesn’t feel real right now and it seems like I am just floating through. I am being strong for my wife and her children and my children,” said Charles.

“My kids went to school with this young man. It’s heartbreaking. It was a tragic loss. It’s very heartbreaking my heart goes out with the family,” said neighbor Stacey Kennedy as she remembered the young teen.

But despite the tragic situation, neighbors living on Dordie Circle said that gunshots at night at not uncommon. Kennedy said she’s afraid that her children could get caught up in the violence, and go down a wrong path.

“You have to stay on top of them you have to talk to them, and you have to encourage them cause if you don’t. They will go the wrong way and they can get lost. You don’t want that,” said Kennedy.

It has the community and the teen’s stepfather calling for an end the gun violence and calling on county leaders to help. They are asking for more lighting in the community to try and deter violence. The neighborhood holds about a dozen mobile homes with only a few light poles.

“All I have is the memories. So, you know before that happens to another child. I’m just asking all the children out there that feel like you got to carry a gun. You don’t have to.” said Charles.

Florence One Schools sent a statement Tuesday morning following Ross’s death:

“Khalil Ross was a student at Wilson High School, and today faculty, staff, and students at Wilson are deeply saddened to learn of his unfortunate and tragic death. Florence 1 Schools is extending sincerest condolences to his family, and we encourage the entire community to keep Khalil’s family in your thoughts and prayers.”

Authorities have not announced any arrests or suspects in the case.

Anyone with information regarding the incident is asked to contact the Florence County Sheriff’s Office investigators at 843-665-2121, ext. 317.

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