Midlands family 'weak' with pain, confusion after 14-year-old student-athlete gunned down

(Source: WISTV)
(Source: WISTV)

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - They're the eye-catching color of traffic cones. One has similarly colored laces. The other's laces are green.

"We're looking at Nike Air Forces," said Genevieve Gordon, as she referenced to the box of new shoes in her hands. "I don't even know what sneakers they are."

But they'll always be special to Gordon because of what's written on them. On all sides of the bright orange shoes are black Sharpie signatures of Gray Collegiate Academy basketball players. The pair of Nikes will also always be special to Genevieve because of who they belonged to her great-nephew, Tiquan Taylor.

"He just got these the day before he got killed," Gordon said. "He didn't even get to wear them."

Taylor was shot and killed Sunday morning inside a car parked off St. Andrews Road. He died due to a gunshot wound to the upper body according to Coroner Gary Watts. He was just 14 years old.

"That was my only brother, and now, I can't even get that brother back, so it hurts," said Kainya Taylor, his sister.

Nine-year-old Jacques Carlos, Taylor's cousin, also insisted on doing an interview when WIS met with Taylor's family members Monday afternoon.

"Really, it's still striking my heart that he's gone, and I'm weak right now," he said through tears. "I wish, like, when he died he could come back to life, but he can't."

According to a Richland County Sheriff's Department incident report, two individuals were seen fleeing the scene of the shooting on the 1400 block of Andrews Road. When deputies arrived, they found a black Toyota 4-Runner parked with the doors open. Taylor died at the scene. A second victim was transported to Richland Memorial for treatment.

While deputies haven't said why the shooting happened, but family members believe it was a robbery.

"He and his friend were trying to sell a PlayStation," said Gordon, who mentioned that Taylor's friend may have used SnapChat to advertise the PlayStation 3 for sale.

As a family comes to terms with sudden loss, so does Gray Collegiate Academy. Taylor played both football and basketball there.

"Ty was very kind, gentle guys. He loved sports. He loved being around his friends. He just loved life. I really enjoyed just being around him," said Junior Varsity Basketball Coach Mar Cooper. "It's sad because these are precious lives that are being taken away for no reason."

According to the incident report, one suspect was a black male, approximately 17-years-old, who was wearing a white t-shirt and black basketball shorts. The other suspect was described as a black male wearing all camo and a hood covering his face.

Police found a silver magazine holding .40 caliber ammo in the back floorboard of the vehicle.

The Richland County Sheriff's Department is still investigating the incident. If you have any information on this shooting, you are asked to call Crimestoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC.

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