Friends remember woman killed on New Year's Day

By Gregory Woods

CHARLESTON, S. C. (WCIV) -- Corey Alston is a sweetgrass basket weaver at Charleston City Market downtown.

He said out of all the things he has experienced working downtown, he'll never forget the phone call he received on New Year's Day telling him his friend Janet Royal, who also worked at the market, had died.

"There was a dead silence the whole day. That could've been the day just to shut the market down," he said. "It's like a part of the family has passed on and it's such a hurtful feeling that we're really not even discussing it."

Police said someone knocked on Royal's door at her home on Niagara Street and opened fire.

Three women were shot on New Year's Day in North Charleston in three separate shooting incidents. Royal and Debra Randall Martin were shot and killed and Sabrina Green was hospitalized.

Family members and friends of Royal attended a candle light vigil Saturday night.

"When they called me, the only thing that ran through my head is that I lost my cousin- my best friend," said Wilhelmeina Wilson, Royal's cousin.

Others who knew her said she was always ready to offer a kind word.

"She was the type of woman that would put a bright smile on your face anytime she saw you," said Lisa Doctor, a friend of Royal's.

Alston said working at the market will never be the same but he is thankful for the memories he can now hold onto.

"We laughed and joked with her every day. The market is like a family, a close-knit family, and{} Janet was on of my family members of the market," he said.{}

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