Slain USC Upstate student Evan Gaines mourned and remembered, while questions remain about his death

Updated: Apr. 2, 2019 at 7:45 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - The investigation continues in the death of USC Upstate student and Columbia native, 22-year-old Evan Jeffrey Gaines.

Officials say Gaines was living at Campus Edge Apartments in Spartanburg, where authorities found him with a gunshot wound to the chest March 26th.

On Tuesday, April 2nd, the Spartanburg County Coroner confirmed Gaines was shot one time.

The original 911 call came in as a fall, but authorities found him with a gunshot wound, and he was transported to a hospital where he died at 10:45 that night.

Gaines was a senior at USC Upstate in Spartanburg, set to graduate in May with a degree in business.

While the circumstances surrounding his death are unclear, friends and family gathered at Leevy's Funeral Home off Taylor Street in Columbia to reflect on his life cut short by violence.

Zenobia Corley is a family friend with two children who went to school with Gaines at Kennan High School in Columbia.

She said his death is senseless. "He's a senior in college and his life is just snuffed out… just like that. For no reason."

Corley sympathizes with Gaines' mother, who refused to speak on camera.

"It hit very hard because it could've been my child," Corley said. "I can understand how she's feeling. I'm just thankful I'm not in the situation she is, but I'm praying for her."

So far authorities have released very little information in this case, and that has been a source of frustration for those who knew him. Spartanburg County authorities have not said whether or not there are any suspects in this case, but school officials have said there is no danger to the public, and this appears to be an isolated incident.

Until the answers are known, Corley and others took time to remember the young life that ended too soon.

"Sweet young man, with very good manners, always fun loving, always had a kind word. Just a very nice young man."

Stay with WIS News 10 and for the latest information in this case.

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