LAURINBURG — Investigators are still trying to piece together how and why Kendrick McGirt was killed Monday night.
For friends and family members, the 17-year-old Scotland High School senior’s death will never make sense.
The Scotland County Sheriff’s Office are treating the death as a homicide. Officials have not revealed many details of what happened, but say it appears that McGirt called 911 at about 11:58 p.m. asking for help. EMS was unable to revive McGirt when emergency personnel reached the home at 6841 Hasty Road.
Investigators are seeking a person of interest, but Capt. Mitch Johnson of the Scotland County Sheriff’s Office has not released a cause or manner of death. He said the medical examiner will have to rule on a cause of death.
“It’s sad, what has happened over the last 24 hours,” Sheriff Ralph Kersey told WPDE News. “I truly hate it for the family. They’re gonna be in our prayers. We’re doing everything that we can to apprehend the ones that is responsible for this crime. Hopefully, we’ll have some answers in the next few hours or day or so.”
Herman Tyson, president of the Scotland County chapter of the NAACP, said his organization held a meeting — hours before McGirt’s death — on finding solutions to recent shooting deaths in the community.
“We offer our support to the family to help get this murder solved and if we can be of any assistance in any manner, we ask they please contact us. But most of all we offer them our thoughts and prayers,” Tyson said. “We need to get involved as a community as whole.”
The teen’s grandfather, James McGirt, Jr. said he can’t understand who would want to harm his grandson because he was loved by so many people.
“I just don’t know which way to go… what to do. He stayed at home. Wanted to finish school. Go to college. That was his main goal,” said the elder McGirt. “I didn’t know who would do this .. he’s been so good to everybody.”
McGirt was a senior set to graduate June 11. He had been accepted to Richmond Community College and planned to attend in the fall.
Scotland School Superintendent Ron Hargrave issued a statement on behalf of the school system Tuesday afternoon. He said additional guidance counselors were at school Tuesday to talk with McGirt’s classmates.
“The loss of life is always a tragedy,” Hargrave said. “When the life lost is that of a child or young person, it is one of the greatest tragedies any of us will experience. With graduation less than three weeks away, the loss is even more profound.”
Several of his friends expressed shock that McGirt was dead. Many said they had just seen him at a senior cookout the day before.
“Tell all your friends you love them today,” one of McGirt’s classmates wrote on Facebook. “Give them a hug, dap them up or something. Life’s too short and you can be gone in the blink of an eye.”
Anyone with information is asked to call the Scotland County Sheriff’s Office at 910-910-276-3162.
Reach Maria Grandy at 910-276-2311