AIKEN, S.C. (WJBF) – Police in Aiken are searching for the person or people responsible for the shooting death of 12-year-old Edward “Chevy” McKenzie Jr. The Chief of Public Safety says the department is devoting all of its available time and resources to deliver justice.
“This is real people, real faces. It’s not just a number or a stat,” asserted Mayor Rick Osbon.
Shortly before 4:00 a.m. on October 10, first responders rushed to the 1400 block of Wyman Street responding to a shooting. At the scene, Chevy was found dead after an apparent drive-by.
Another boy was also found shot in the leg.
“We have extra patrol through that community and area right now and it just enough. We expect people to be able to feel safe and have that confidence of safety within our city,” said Mayor Osbon.
In a statement, Aiken Department of Public Safety Chief Charles Barranco said, “The shooting incident that claimed the life of twelve-year-old Edward “Junior” F. McKenzie Jr., is this agency’s highest priority. We have determined that this shooting was not a random act, and this residence was the intended target of the assault. No additional residences were targeted or struck by the offenders.“
“A lot of the arrests and crime we see happening in this community doesn’t originate within the neighborhood. Its people coming from other areas to it so we’re trying hard to make that more difficult. To be there, have a presence there two to three in the morning when things like this are happening,” explained Mayor Osbon.
Chevy was a fifth-grade student at North Aiken Elementary.
A statement from the school reads, “The North Aiken Elementary School family was devastated by the news of the passing of fifth-grade student Edward McKenzie, Jr. Edward was a very caring young man. He was quite inquisitive and always took things in that surrounded him, even when you thought he wasn’t. He loved his family very much and would talk about them often throughout the school day. While our hearts are hurting and we share the grief and pain of this terrible loss of a promising young man with so much potential for greatness, we also celebrate his life and the joy he brought to all who knew and loved him.“
The Aiken County Public School District also responded to the deadly shooting by stating, “The Aiken County Public Schools’ family is heartbroken upon learning of the tragic passing of North Aiken Elementary School fifth-grader Edward McKenzie, Jr. and the injury of a sibling during a senseless act of gun violence in our community. The loss of any student is a terrible blow to our entire school district family and we send our collective thoughts, prayers, and strength to Edward’s immediate family, the Crosland Park community, and the students, faculty, staff, and administrators at North Aiken Elementary School. Counselors will be on-site Monday at North Aiken Elementary School to provide support services to students and employees.“
“We have to work extremely hard with the community but I think that’s a key point right now. This might be able to speed up that turning point where we go in as we’re approaching this to get the answers and all that we need. It really takes community cooperation and communication on this,” said Mayor Osbon.
If you have any information about this tragedy, call Aiken Public Safety at (803) 642-7620 or CRIMESTOPPERS at 888-CRIME-SC (888-274-6372). Callers may remain anonymous and may receive a cash reward of up to $1000.