Deputies, mother plead for tips in block party shooting

MONCKS CORNER, S.C. (WCIV) -- A month after a Francis Marion University student was killed at a Moncks Corner block party, Berkeley County deputies and the girl's mother asked for someone to come forward with information on the shooter.

Kendra Morgan Stevens sat between two Berkeley County detectives as she pleaded with the community to help find her daughter's killer.

"It's very frustrating because I know someone knows something and they don't want to talk about it because they are afraid," said Morgan Stevens.

On June 7, 19-year-old Ariel Morgan was shot and killed during a neighborhood block party on Tish Lane in Moncks Corner.

"Ariel Morgan was truly a victim in this case and did not deserve to lose her life over going to a party that she thought was safe," said Capt. Bobby Shuler.

Morgan was one of six people shot during the party.

Detectives say they are looking for several suspects who fired weapons that night. Now, they are now asking witnesses to come forward.

"Descriptions of people that had guns that night, vehicle descriptions, tags -- any information that we could use," said Det. Kevin Murphy. "People think, 'Well this might not be significant,' but working a case like this is like putting a jigsaw puzzle together. Your little piece doesn't look like anything to you, but when you snap it into the puzzle it's quite clear."

Detectives say a lack of witnesses is quite common for their department.

"It's a newer generation. They think if they are telling law enforcement then they are a snitch. That's not a snitch. That's doing the right thing, and sometimes doing the right thing ain't always easy," said Shuler.

Murphy says other witnesses are afraid of retaliation.

"I've been doing this 11 years, and quite honestly people are usually afraid. But usually when the people are brought to justice, that's usually the close of it," Murphy said.

The last 30 days have been extremely hard for Morgan's family and friends.

"When I got the phone call that night, I was about to lay down," said Marquel Chavis, Ariel Morgan's boyfriend. "Kendra called me and was like, 'She been shot.' I was like, 'No, you got to be lying. You lying.' I mean, it just hurt me. I got in the car, rushed down to where she was at. It just hurt. To this day, it hurts."

Chavis said he had known Morgan for eight years and their families had grown into one unit.

"At the end of the day, she was so innocent," said Chavis. "It really just makes me mad because, I mean, somebody knows something."

If you have any information on this case, you can make an anonymous tip by calling Crime Stoppers at 554-1111.