Family of murdered Elgin man remember him as 'avid cowboy'

Family of murdered Elgin man remember him as 'avid cowboy'

ELGIN, SC (WIS) - The family of the man murdered in Elgin is remembering him as a competitive cowboy who befriended everyone he met.

But it's that friendliness his father said led to his death. According to the Richland County Sheriff's Department, 23-year-old Adam Legrand was shot and killed by 21-year-old Kenneth Shirley at Legrand's electrical shop on the evening of March 21.

Shirley then ran from police, shooting at them and eventually surrendered in nearby woods. Legrand's father, Wayne Legrand, said his son was an avid cowboy who had been riding horses, mules, and bulls for years.

"We would travel around the country and he would compete nearly every weekend," he said. "He would win, too."

Legrand's accomplishments can be seen everywhere around his parent's house, as belt buckles, ribbons and photos of his bull-riding days are on display. When he wasn't riding bulls, he was spending time with his nieces and nephews, along with siblings.

"He would go to career day at their schools and talk about being a cowboy," his father said. "He just loved kids and he got asked to keep coming back because the kids loved it."

Miranda Hopkins, Legrand's fiancée, said the afternoon of March 21 was like any day. She had gone over to Legrand's shop to help him clean out his truck when Shirley called.

"He wanted to come hang out and we had just seen him the night before so we didn't think anything of it," Hopkins said.

She said Legrand and Shirley had been friends for about a year but didn't hang out together much.

"We were all having a great time, just laughing and having fun and then he went to the store," she said. "When he came back, it was like he was a completely different person."

She said when Shirley returned from the store he was quiet, playing on his phone and not saying much. All of a sudden, she said he pulled a gun on her and Legrand.

"We were both so scared and didn't know what was going on so we just tried to usher him out the door while he had a gun in our face," she said. "He went outside, got in his truck, shut the door and turned it on and while we were scared, we thought we were okay."

According to Hopkins, Shirley then opened his car door, jumped out and began shooting.

"We turned around and ran back into the shop, trying to get around the truck so we could take cover," she said. "We were holding hands and I felt him let go and I can't describe what it was like when I turned around."

Legrand had been shot and was falling to the floor.

"As he was falling we made eye contact and I can't even describe it, but it was like I felt him leaving and I felt like he was taking a piece of me with him," she said. The family said the autopsy later revealed the fatal shot went through Legrand's side, piercing his heart and exiting the front of his chest.

Hopkins said shortly after, the gunfire stopped and she ran to get help, not realizing she had been shot three times herself. She suffered a fractured scapula and trauma to her left leg, of which she said she still has numbness in.

Legrand's father said when he found on Shirley was given a $100,000 bond, he felt slighted.

"There's no ifs, ands, or buts about it, he's the killer," he said. "Why should he be allowed to roam the streets?"

A condition of Shirley's bond is to complete a 90-day inpatient treatment program, but the family said the victim advocate appointed to them said he spent a day and a half in the program.

"He's now getting a mental evaluation, but we want him to have to go back to the treatment facility or have his bond revoked," Legrand said. "He should never be allowed to go live with a family member with a little ankle bracelet on."

As a result of his experience following his son's death, Legrand said he hopes to work with local legislators about strengthening the rules and laws surrounding the bond court.

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