‘They need role models’: Impacted Florence County community reacts to shooting involving 2 teens

Published: Dec. 29, 2022 at 10:04 PM EST|Updated: Dec. 29, 2022 at 10:05 PM EST
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FLORENCE, S.C. (WMBF) - A 15-year-old is in a hospital bed, while the teen accused of shooting him is now in jail.

Florence County deputies arrested 17-year-old Javorious Gore Wednesday after they said he shot a 15-year-old along Allies Court, between Freedom Boulevard and National Cemetery Road.

RELATED COVERAGE | 17-year-old charged, 15-year-old in critical condition after Florence County shooting

Deputies said the 15-year-old identified Gore as the shooter before being taken to the hospital.

He was in critical condition after the shooting.

The shooting has left their community shaken. Leaders said it’s hard for youth now more than ever, but in order for change to happen, there need to be better role models.

“It’s tough for kids to live today and survive and I want to say, do what’s right, have high character, have good morals,” said Neal Zimmerman, executive director of the Boys and Girls Club of The Pee Dee Area. ”They need role models. A lot of what’s on TV these days and on the internet aren’t real great role models, but kids don’t always take that to heart.”

Neighbors who spoke with WMBF News said they didn’t hear anything related to this incident, meanwhile, there’s no word on the updated condition of the 15-year-old.

Zimmerman said the Boys and Girls Club of the Pee Dee area serves 600 kids daily across the Pee Dee as the center strives to keep youth occupied, but Zimmerman also said how crimes in the surrounding area make it that much harder.

“Really our hearts go out to the families, the kids when things like that happen and I guess it just hits us harder and we have to do that much better to make sure kids have social skills and conflict resolution skills, especially now after COVID the social-emotional challenges kids now face they’re different than they were three years ago.”

As centers like the Boys and Girls Club strive to keep youth off the streets, leaders said it starts with resources.

Zimmerman shared how this past year, BGC Centers across the Pee Dee have implemented four STEM labs and four E-Sports lounges as a way to keep youth engaged and so far it’s been a driver for teens.

“We provided some teenagers jobs within our buildings, trying to make not only teach them the skills that they need soft skills to get future employment but also put a few dollars in their pocket along the way also make sure that they’re learning leadership skills with the younger kids because no matter what the younger kids look up to our teenagers.”

Zimmerman said it starts with meeting the youth where they are when it comes to their needs for success.

Gore is charged with attempted murder and possession of a weapon during a violent crime.

A judge denied bond for him as he remains in the Florence County Detention Center.