Community mourns the shooting death of Capital High School athlete

Local News

CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – On Thursday, April 8, 2021, friends and teammates created a memorial in the area where KJ Taylor was shot. They gathered throughout the day to support one another and share memories.

“Everybody loved KJ, he warmed up a room,” said classmate Azelah Cordon.

She and other friends have fond memories of the Capital High School senior.

“Me and KJ have been in school together since sixth grade. I had at least one class with him every year. He was real cool, real funny. He was just such a nice person,” Cordon said.

Friends decribe him as a talented athlete whose life was cut short.

“I want everybody to know that we really lost a neighborhood star. It really hurts when you grew up with the person and see somebody that you were about to graduate with not get to walk across that stage with you at the same time,” Cordon said.

People stopped by the scene of the shooting throughout the day Thursday to light candles, leave flowers and share stories. They also spoke up for change before any more young lives are lost.

“He didn’t have a chance to graduate. He didn’t even make it to have a family and he is dead and gone,” said Charleston City Council Member Deanna McKinney. She lost her son to gun violence seven years ago. Since then, she’s dedicated her life to making sure kids like KJ Taylor have a chance to grow up.

“Monday at city council I made a statement about the gun violence in my community. Forty eight hours later now we have to bury another child that was on his way to college,” she said.

A memorial vigil is set for Friday.

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